After many a re-watch of Supernatural’s last episode, “We Happy Few”, I’m not sure what it was that I just couldn’t really get into. Even though all the major players in the show were there, and despite some funny stuff and a good “Ocean’s” feel to it, I still just felt kinda meh about it. Maybe it’s because so many of the episodes this season, and especially here in the back half, have really hit it out of the park. Maybe because one thing I really wanted to see happen didn’t, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
We start with a conversation between God and Lucifer. One of the fun things on which the writers have followed through here is the idea that Lucifer is basically an angsty teen with daddy issues, complete with temper tantrums. This was first brought up years ago by Crowley, and I love that Misha Collins is playing what Bob Berens wrote in this episode to the hilt. It’s a fun chuckle to see the Devil stomp off to his (Sam’s, actually) room and blast loud music until God says He’s sorry. Dean is right in saying this is like the worst episode of Full House ever, but it’s some much needed light-heartedness both after the last few episodes and before the inevitably heart-stomping finale.
Eventually, Lucifer comes out of his room and the foursome basically has a therapy session on family communication with the Winchesters leading, because if I want advice on open and honest familial communication I go to Sam and Dean. This goes about as well as you would expect (“Use ‘I feel’ statements!” “Just apologize, you don’t have to mean it!”). I love the interaction between Chuck and Lucifer, and eventually they get to the heart of the issue. Chuck asks Lucifer what he would have done with Him. Chuck maintains that He did what He had to, both to Amara and to Lucifer, to protect humanity. Once they get sick of the peanut gallery watching, Chuck zaps Dean and Sam away and shit gets real between Father and son. “You forsook me when the Mark of Cain did what it inevitably does.” Lucifer accuses Chuck, who for once doesn’t deny it. He did forsake Lucifer, but only because Lucifer was His favorite. God isn’t supposed to have favorites, but He did. And seeing His failure through the Mark changing Lucifer broke Chuck’s heart, so He in turn, punished His son. This is a sad, if common story. But Chuck apologizes and it looks like their relationship is on the mend, at least enough to work together.
The two of them tell the boys that their plan is to trap Amara. Dean disagrees and thinks that killing her is the only way to go. This brings up the discussion of yin and yang, and how without darkness, there can be no light. Chuck then says that Michael is in no condition to fight, and lets me know that God indeed does not answer all prayers, saying it’s not within His power to bring back Gabriel or Raphael. Archangels are made of different stuff than other angels, which is part of why they were able to defeat Amara the first time around. Without them, it’s time to go to the B Team.
Speaking of Bs, while all this is going down Rowena is trying to make, if not a Mega Coven, at least a friend as she spies on a woman reading Tarot cards. Things are looking bleak for whatever it is she’s reading, as all the cards say “Death” on them, and she knows RowRow is spying on her, so she tells her to just come in. Clearly Clea knows Rowena because she immediately pulls a gun on her while Rowena explains that it’s the End of Times and hey, how about they use one of the spells from the book of the damned to go back a few hundred years and not be bothered with dying? Sounds like a plan to me, Row.
Now our quartet of angst and regret is deciding whom to recruit in order to make some semblance of an army, and we get a little montage/flash-sideways kind of thing where each of them goes to talk to their prospects. Dean heads off to talk to Crowley, who is having a shitty day. It’s hard to regain the fear and respect of demons when you were licking the floor a couple weeks ago. So the idea of gaining back his power appeals enough to Crowley for him to join forces with God and the Devil…and the Winchesters. He’ll recruit some loyal demons to help, too. Lucifer has to convince the self-righteous asshat angels to help. They are mistrustful of Lucifer which is, well, not surprising, so he gets his own “Jiminy Cricket” to come out and talk to them. The clouds part, the sun shines, and we get our first real glimpse of Castiel since I don’t even know when. The angels don’t really see that sunshine though, since in their minds Cas is no better than Lucifer. I get their point a little but, man, Cas has been through enough bullshit for both humanity and Heaven, and mostly I just want to give him a cake. But I digress. Cas tells the angels that every moment that Lucifer is occupying his vessel is torment. It’s destroying him, both physically and emotionally, but he would do it all again in a heartbeat if it meant saving everything from nothingness. This seems to be a convincing argument, since they agree to fight alongside him (like they can say no to God, anyway). That just leaves Sam to get Rowena onboard. She isn’t really feelin’ it, and threatens to turn Moose into an actual moose if he doesn’t bugger off. Clea, on the other hand, is interested. Sam showing up is the first time her Tarot cards has shown something other than death (Sadly, they do not show a moose. Missed opportunity there, Bobo). There is Sunshine, which means there is hope. So they both say “why the hell not?” and join our merry band of misfits, and then we’re off to the battle!!!
Well, not yet. There needs to be some more planning and bickering. Dean still doesn’t understand why they don’t just kill Amara, rather than risk letting her escape again. The others (Lucifer, Chuck and Sam) think it’s because Dean doesn’t want to kill her, so he wants her dead so he doesn’t have to worry about it. If this makes no sense to you, you’re not alone. Even Dean’s previous attempts and failure to kill her are said by Chuck to be because he didn’t really want it to work. Wow God, thanks. Everyone agrees then to just go with God (hehe). The first time I watched this episode, in which Dean just falls in with Chuck and Lucifer’s plan, I was pissed. It seemed so out of character for Dean to trust these two above his own instincts and his brother. Sam, I could see going along with the plan. He’s always had faith, but that’s been a little harder to come by for Dean. He didn’t have faith in anything other than his family until Cas came along, and even then, it was because Cas became a part of his family. So the idea that Dean would put up little to no fight didn’t feel like growth to me so much as it felt like the writers saying “well, we have to get this story moving along so Dean just agrees.” Then I thought about it more. The nice thing about writing these reviews a week after the airing is that I can rewatch and mull and figure shit out before I write it here. One of the very first things Chuck as God said to Dean was “Don’t confuse me with your dad.” It’s a powerful statement, especially looking at this scene. Rather than Dean just handing things over to Chuck, it seems more like he’s following orders much like he would if John were giving them. He doesn’t have control of his mind. His own judgement is skewed, so he figures he’s best being “Daddy’s blunt little instrument” again. It’s not growth for his character, but when remembering previous conversations, it’s not so wholly out of character, either. And how hard it must be for Dean to know that he can trust Lucifer of all people over himself.
Don the Handy Prophet shows up again just to have Amara suck his soul out to find God. Why he just got sent home last week is beyond me, until I see that he had to get caught by Amara for this whole schpiel to work. So Amara learns where her brother is, then burns the warding sigils off the bunker and lands right on the map table. The first victim of her ire (I mean, other than Don)? RIP “World’s Best Dad” mug. You’ll be missed. The look of disgust on her face was a thing to behold though. She wanders around the bunker, until she finds a picture of Mary and Dean.
She can get away with this self guided tour because the Revengers are all (surprise) in a warehouse planning their attack strategy. I can’t say I blame them for not wanting to have the meeting at the bunker, but I’m fairly certain everyone knows where it is at this point. They are all arguing about which faction will attack first, Dean is worried about Cas, Rowena fangirls over Chuck, Lucifer flirts with Rowena, and the mother/son relationship between Crowley and Rowena is as loving as ever. In the midst of all this bickering and bantering, we hear that Sam will be taking on the Mark of Cain. Someone’s gotta do it, and it can’t be Dean, since he’s “tainted” by already having borne the Mark. But this is where we DO see some growth in Dean: After an initial argument about Sam taking on the Mark, Dean says “okay” and accepts Sam’s choice. Proud of you, Dean. Chuck says as soon as he drops his warding, Amara will be able to find him, and Rowena does her astral projection magic and finds Amara in the bunker, luring her to where everyone is waiting.
Amara comes and Rowena tries to come off as if she was betraying Chuck by calling her, but Amara is having none of it. The first attack then comes in the form of witches. Rowena is (I assume) psychically linked to an actual coven and they combine their powers. It’s not enough, however, and Amara easily kills the entire coven (minus RowRow) through said link. Next up are the angels, and all the wrath of Heaven comes down upon Amara’s head. It stings, but doesn’t keep her down, so the demons join. It’s bright lights and black smoke as the powers of Heaven and Hell unite to at least wear her down a bit before facing God, and Crowley joins in at the end to give that extra boost.
The attacks have all done their damage to Amara as she and her brother come face to face for the first time in millennia. Chuck apologizes to Amara for trapping her alone all those years, and then Lucifer stabs her. Dean needs to be held back when he sees that Amara is injured, and at this point, I’m kind of surprised they let him come at all. He is visibly affected by Amara and it’s sad to watch, knowing that he has no control over it. Amara and Chuck are arguing, and Amara yells that Chuck couldn’t just live with the two of them as equals, that He had to make the archangels, lesser beings to make Himself the Lord. That it was all ego. Chuck concedes the point, but tells her that it wasn’t all about His ego. There is valor and glory in creating. Amara throws her hands in the air and says “Fuck it. Kill me. You’ve won!” She means it. She seems okay with dying, but when she sees that they’re going to trap her alone again, for eternity, she gets pissed. She lifts Chuck into the air by His throat, and Lucifer tries to stab her again, only to be thrown against a column and killed. Kudos to the visual effects team here, though. The way they pulled Mark Pellegrino’s face from Misha’s was awesome and creepy. Dean is pleading with Amara to stop, but she’s too far gone. “God is dying. He will dim and fade away, but not before He sees the world turn to ash.” ANNNNND we’re out!
BAMF: Amara. This is the fucking villain I want to see. Terrifying and nearly indestructible. She was fierce and vulnerable and I love that shit so much more than “Angry Girl With a Crush.” Having a crush on Dean Winchester is not special. Everyone has a crush on Dean. Basically every other character on the show has a crush on Dean. THIS is the shit I am here for.
Pies: ⅗ When I first watched it, it was like, 1.5, but rewatching and mulling has improved my opinion.