This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural Season 15 Episode 9
“All good things must come to an end.” Chuck’s comment in the beginning of “The Trap” is indicative both of his connection to Sam and the series’ end as a whole. It seems each episode is primed for a reference to the end, and it makes sense — the end of the world is just about the biggest stakes you can get.
Defiance is a strong running theme in this chapter of the Winchester’s saga. Sam is defiant to Chuck’s plan. Dean is defiant to Cass’s apologies and in the confrontation with Chuck later. Chuck defies anyone to defy him. Dare to defy — it’s a CW thing.
So naturally, Chuck’s main objective this episode, besides just removing the mark that binds him and Sam together, is destroying the younger Winchester brother’s hope. “You still think you’re the hero of this story. You think you can still win,” Chuck says to Sam. He then proceeds to torture Sam, forcing Eileen to try to cut the bullet wound from his shoulder in a haphazard way. When that doesn’t work, and Sam refuses to give in to the simple torture, Chuck proves there’s more than one way to force someone to your will. He whips out the coolest time travel tool outside of the TARDIS — a classy pocket watch, which can flip through the coming months and years to see the aftermath if Sam and Dean win.
It was a great storytelling device to show us scenes from the imagined future, especially since they take place beyond the end of the televised series’ conclusion. These horrible scenes of a bleak, post-”win” future also raise questions on what choices Sam should take. If Chuck’s scenes from the future are to be trusted — and this reviewer places heavy doubt on that anyway — then even the supposedly right path for Sam and Dean leads to the deaths of their friends and eventually themselves.
The horrible future shows what happens if the fight becomes too big to overcome. Sam makes a reference to Butch and Sundance — going out swinging. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid famously ends on a freeze frame of the title characters in a shootout, most likely to their demise. Chuck shows Sam a Dean that eventually gives up and must be convinced to go to their last fight as hunters… and then “this is what comes next” as they end their lives as vampires. I don’t believe your dirty tricks, Chuck, but I did dramatically gasp when Dean and Sam grinned with their vicious fangs.
The B-story takes place in Purgatory, as Cass and Dean search for a Leviathan blossom — a key ingredient in stopping Chuck. Tempers flare as Cass is still trying to apologize to Dean, causing friction between them over what happened with Jack.
The most important part of this story is when they are separated, and for the first time in a long time Dean prays his response to Cass in an emotional plea. Dean praying to Cass — “You’re my best friend but I just let you go,” Dean said, shaking with restrained tears. This moment is underscored by some really touching soundtrack music and is a defining moment for Dean. It’s an admission of guilt and a soul laid bare. His admission that he gets angry when things get tough and he just can’t stop it? Such an important moment for his character in this series.
In the ultimate confrontation, Chuck claims he’s been doing this whole plan with all the other Sams and Deans in other universes. It reinforces the age old problem of predestination but also gets out a fun line from Dean: “You go back to Earth-2. We will never give you the ending you want.” Actually, Dean, Earth-2 was eradicated (and then replaced) in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Dang this episode pulling on heartstrings. Dean and Cass made up, Sam was put through a less literal and more emotional form of Hell, Eileen was scared off, and Chuck successfully blipped out of town free of the mark. The worst part is Sam losing hope. Chuck’s whole plan with his time travel pocket watch was to beat Sam down to the point where he wouldn’t fight — and it worked.
The Winchesters end with saying they need another way to defeat Chuck that doesn’t involve killing or trapping him. They’re going to have to get creative. Perhaps a hearts and minds campaign where they convince Chuck not to be a vengeful jerk? Nah, that’s not very cinematic.
In any case, we get a teaser with Jack and Billie/Death at the end as she tells him “It’s time.” With the advancement of time being such a big motivator this episode, it’s interesting that we end on that line.
Thank heavens the next episode looks like a funny one because we’re going to need a breather after this.
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