Season 13 of Supernatural has been a pretty surprising bag of character development and more personal stories told within a larger context. Basically my favorite kind of episode, just stretched out to a season’s length. Last week left us with a fairly anti-climatic finale after two episodes of action, pain, and rapidly advancing storylines. Yes, there is the reveal at the end, but with all the teasing the show runners and Jensen Ackles did before the episode even aired, this plot twist was less ‘shocking’ than it was inevitable.
Episode 22 saw Team Free Will 2.0 + Mom bring twenty-five people from Apocalypse world to ours. Gabe sacrificed himself (again) to help the boys, and Sam got some well-earned if short-lived vengeance when he locked Lucifer away in Apocalypse world. The finale opens shortly after that, with Sam teaching “Winchester World 101” to the misplaced rebels, and Jim Beaver proves that bringing Bobby back, even if it’s not the same Bobby, was a stroke of genius. Bobby adds a levity that the show desperately needs, without slapstick “no homo” humor and jabs at other characters. I love Bobby Singer.
While Dean “I’m a Khloe Man” Winchester, Cas, Sam, and Jack are hunting werewolves (and damn, Jack is useful to have around, which basically seals his fate on this show), Mary and Bobby go for a walk in the rain. Bobby confides that he doesn’t really want to go home and we learn that Rowena and Charlie are joining forces for a road trip and I wish for an episode dedicated to those shenanigans. Since this is Supernatural, their pleasant walk ends when they stumble upon the body of Maggie, one of the Apocalypse World refugees.
Back at the bunker, Dean tells Sam that with Jack around they might just be able to clean shit up enough that Dean would feel okay retiring and lazing around on a beach with Cas and Sam, sippin’ mai tais and wearing Hawaiian shirts.
Since we know there is at least one more season left, Dean’s dream retirement is going to have to wait. Later, Dean hears Jack crying out in his sleep, because he’s a gentle lethal cupcake and is having nightmares of the mistakes he’s made. Dean shows some major steps forward in his own self-forgiveness in telling Jack that he should forgive himself, since everyone makes mistakes and that the key is to just try and be better every day. It’s a talk Dean never got from his own father, and is a gift he can give his surrogate son. Their talk is interrupted, however, with the news that Maggie was killed.
Maggie’s death, while not natural, doesn’t look supernatural, and so the boys start out questioning her friends when one lets slip that Maggie had a crush on a gas station clerk, and suddenly Jack vanishes. By the time Dean, Sam, and Cas get to the gas station, Jack is choking some poor kid who has no idea what the hell is happening. Cas can’t get Jack to stop, so Dean shoots him a few times to get his attention. They tell Jack the kid didn’t kill Maggie, and a guilt-ridden nephilim disappears again for some self-flagellation. It’s not long, however, before Murdered Maggie falls to the bottom of their to-do list, because a familiar rumbling and high-pitched ringing announces the arrival of fucking Michael. Dean, being sensible, tells everyone to run, and they tear out after throwing a holy oil molotov in the arch angel’s general direction.
At the same time all this is going down, my least favorite character on Supernatural pops in on Jack. Poor, vulnerable, heartbroken Jack. Lucifer tells Jack that Sam is a loser, a liar, and all the things a 3rd grader would say about the kid they have a crush on, before spewing his same line about how humans are the worst, except his dad is worse than humans because he was mean and blah blah blah. Honestly, I’m starting to wonder if the writers just copy and paste Lucifer’s lines in each script because it’s been the same song and dance for seven years. Maybe they should look into bringing Tom Ellis’s Lucifer character into the show, since he’s managed to bring depth and humor to the character, without beating us over the head with the “I hate dad” motivation. Lucifer tells Jack they’re blood and family and that they should leave Earth and bond while exploring the universe and running away from the things they feel bad about. Jack falls for it, because he is still basically a child, but asks his dear old dad to do him a favor first.
Back at the bunker, Mary and Bobby have no further leads on Maggie (I guess Michael returning didn’t knock her murder completely off everyone’s radar after all!), when Jack and Lucifer stroll in. Jack tells Mary “his father” will heal the dead girl while Bobby calls Sam and Dean to get their asses home. Lucifer is reluctant because dead people “dont come back right” but when Jack points out that Sam is the same, Lucifer has no choice but to heal Maggie before the two of them fly away again. Once the boys come back and find out Jack and Lucifer are together, they decide they have to find Jack before Michael does. Sam interviews Maggie about her murder (they can really multitask), but we don’t get to hear much because Michael shows up at the bunker. I’m not really sure what kind of safety this place offers anymore, since an archangel that literally just arrived in this universe was able to find them and break in, but hey who needs plot holes filled, amirite?
Cas, Dean, and Sam send Mary, Bobby, and Maggie away to safety before they all promptly get their collective asses handed to them. Dean gets the worst of it, and Michael talks about the hard on he has for “saving” souls and freeing them from their bodies while he chokes Dean and Sam desperately prays to Jack. Jack, who is stargazing with his dad and getting ready for their father/son trip hears Sam’s prayer and returns to the bunker in time to whammy the shit out of Michael. Seriously. Do not hurt Jack’s friends, he does not fuck around. Michael, while being tortured, yells at Lucifer that they had a deal, and that gets the nephilim’s attention. Dean explains to Jack that Lucifer and Michael bargained that Lucifer would get Jack (and all his power) and Michael would get the rest of the planet to destroy. YAY! Sam also decides to drop the bomb that Lucifer is the one who killed Maggie, and when he starts to deny it, Jack compels the devil to tell the truth, which I think is safe to say, surprised everyone. Jack disowns Lucifer, and the angry crybaby devil throws a fit before stealing Jack’s power and grace. Thank goodness Jack’s a white dude, so he just loses his powers, rather than being outright killed. Sam lunges for Jack and Lucifer zaps the three of them to a random church.
Dean starts freaking out about where Sam is, like ya do, and Michael tells him that with Jack’s powers, Lucifer is unstoppable and can unravel the universe. When Dean suggests that hey maybe Michael can beat him again, Michale points out the whole “internally bleeding and barely alive meatsuit” thing doesn’t really have him in fighting form. Over Cas’s objections, Dean asks Michael if it would help him to have his sword, and we get a flashback to way back when Dean learned he’s the archangel’s perfect vessel. Michael says “Doi! Of course it would help!”, and Cas again tries to stop Dean, who says he hasn’t got any other choice, before telling Michael he can hitch a ride, this once, but Dean’s in charge. Cuz angels are such good listeners.
Meanwhile in a random church, Lucifer spends some time beating up Sam and Jack and getting pissy when Sam says he doesn’t care what Jack has done, he’s family. This unconditional acceptance hits a nerve in Lucifer, and he decides to play a game after whining about how his family is mean to him. Again. He tells Jack and Sam that either he can kill them both and go on to bring the world to its knees, or one of them can kill the other and try to stop him. After a tense moment, Sam picks up the archangel blade (because why not have the one thing that can kill you on you at all times?), and tells Jack to kill him. Jack, deciding that Sam has a better chance at beating Lucifer than he now does, sans powers, tells Sam he loves him before turning the blade on himself.
ALAS! Jack isn’t dying today!! He gets to live! As Jack starts poking his own belly with the blade, Dean shows up and shows off his badass new wings, because leave it to Dean to rev the fuckin’ engine. He and Lucifer start to fight and after some scuffling, they “fly” at each other and fight in the cheesiest in-air battle I have ever seen.
I mean, if that’s how angels fly, I guess I’m glad we haven’t had to witness it in the nine years before this. They fight, and Lucifer has the upper hand, but just before he smites Dean, Sam “magic throws” the archangel blade directly into Dean’s hand and Dean stabs Lucifer with it, killing him (and destroying Jack’s power) in the longest angel death in Heaven or Hell. The three celebrate defeating Lucifer for a hot minute, and it’s the lightest I’ve seen Sam in about six years. Suddenly Dean yells “WE HAD A DEAL!” and when he looks up again, Dean’s no longer home, it’s Michael, and kudos to Jensen Ackles for managing to look nothing like Dean while still wearing his face.
Back at the bunker, we see Mary and Bobby checking in on a clearly devastated Cas before cutting to see a very dapper looking Michael strolling through town, Thriller freeze frame at the camera and all.
Well, that’s a wrap for season thirteen! I can’t say I was very happy with this finale (the episode when Sam died felt more like an appropriate finale to me), but overall I really enjoyed this season. Watching Dean’s grief and how he and Sam have grown throughout the season was a real highlight, and adding Jack to the mix stirred up the dynamics enough to freshen the show up without rocking the boat too much. This finale, though. I’m interested to see Michael!Dean next season, and if Lucifer is really, truly dead, I’ll jump up and down and shit wooden nickels, but overall the whole thing felt “meh” after the previous two episodes. This is the first time I felt like the show ran out of steam before the finish line, and I hope the new worlds and characters (old and new) open some storylines for us next year.