This review contains spoilers.
6.21 Let It Bleed
6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much
Season six of Supernatural comes to a conclusion with a double helping of episodes, the first of which sees Sam, Dean and Bobby searching for Crowley, who kidnaps Lisa and Ben to force them to back off, and a clue to accessing Purgatory is found in the works of one H. P. Lovecraft.
In just two episodes, there are a lot of things to tie up, but one of the things I hadn’t considered was the return of Lisa and Ben. I’ve previously said how much I like the characters, the dynamic they brought to Dean and the show itself. I was pleased that they hadn’t been forgotten in the race to the finish.
This was, as was Crowley’s plan, a distraction from the main story of Castiel and Purgatory and I felt tying in H. P. Lovecraft and his stories to be a very bold and clever move. Bold in the respect that Lovecraft’s is, quite rightly, considered to be some of the best horror literature you can read, and clever in that it adds a touch of our own reality to the show.
Castiel. Poor Castiel. It’s the strength of the show and this season, in particular, that, as season draws to a close, the ‘big bad’ isn’t really bad at all, but has just made some wrong decisions. And is still making them. Yet, despite this, I still feel sympathy for Castiel, and put in the same situation as Castiel, what would you have done?
But at the episode end, it’s Dean I feel most sorry for. Not only did he give up the chance of having a normal life at the start of the season, he has now given up all chance of ever having a normal life with Lisa and Ben. In the final scene of them talking, and then Dean speaking with Sam in the car, he just looks so heartbroken.
This is a good episode, with some great performances from all the main actors, especially Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins. However, this is very much an episode that sets everything up nicely for the season finale.
So, onto the main event.
Castiel and Crowley know how to access Purgatory. To prevent Sam, Dean and Bobby interfering, Castiel takes down the barrier in Sam’s mind, so that he remembers his time as Lucifer’s plaything.
As ever, Castiel’s and Crowley’s interaction are very well written and acted. Both actors seem to relish the roles against each other.
As for the plan itself, Castiel’s breaking the deal with the demon was terrific in its simplicity and I felt a glimmer of hope that the character wasn’t completely lost. Crowley’s inevitable siding with Raphael and thinking he had bested Castiel was also very good. Both ‘flee or die’ moments played just perfectly.
Seeing inside Sam’s mind and the struggle he is going through was incredibly well portrayed. I really like the confusion that both the audience and Sam share, as you work out what’s going on. I also felt it brought the season full circle, ending as it began and reminding us of the journey that Sam has been through this year.
I also like the fact that he didn’t have to ‘fight’ his third self and it was more about simple acceptance and recognizing that pain is part of who we are. A very literal interpretation of ‘that which does not kill us makes us stronger’.
However, after being told how dangerous the wall coming down would be and how Sam would be destroyed by it, and told by Death himself, no less, seems to almost cheapen its happening, by the fact he recovers so quickly. I do appreciate that he may not be fully recovered, and we’ve yet to see the full effects, but on first impression,s he seems to be doing okay.
One person who is not doing okay is Castiel, but I’m getting ahead of myself slightly. The final scene, again, is brilliantly simple. Crowley, the self proclaimed King of Hades, and Raphael, would-be God are defeated with a simple trick. But it’s the way it’s done that really works. The fact that we didn’t see Purgatory opened adds so much more to it, because human imagination is better than any camera.
Crowley escaping almost guarantees that he’ll be back next season and Raphael meeting a very messy demise truly shows just how powerful Castiel has become. As powerful as God, and we all know what absolute power does….
Cliffhanger ending. End of season six. The season that wasn’t meant to be. Was it worth it?
It must be difficult for a show that had reached as natural a conclusion as Supernatural had at the end of season five to start all over again, but that’s what season six did, and I think it did it very well.
There have been some bumps along the way, not every episode has been great, and overall, I don’t think it’s the best season the show has had. But that’s not the point. The point is has it continued the story of Sam and Dean Winchester? The point is has it been entertaining? The point is do I want to see a season seven? And the answer is very much a resounding yes.
And while I say I don’t think it has been Supernatural‘s best season, I do think it has produced some of the show’s best episodes. The French Mistake and Appointment In Samarra easily make my favourite episode list now.
Roll on season seven.
Read our review of episode 20, The Man Who Would Be King, here.
You’ll find all our reviews of Supernatural season 6 here.