At the end of the Supernatural season fourteen premiere, we saw Michael chatting up some vampires after searching the world over and only finding the bloodsuckers “worthy” of salvation. Clearly “salvation” has a very specific meaning to Michael, since his kind is the “experiment until someone isn’t dead” variety. This is where we first see Michael in last week’s “Gods and Monsters.”

Michael experiments with vampire blood and angel grace cocktails and clearly the formula needs tweaking, if the giant pile of dead vamp bodies is any indication.

While Michael is trying to build his master monster race, back at the bunker things are starting to look up! Turns out Jo’s phone call might have yielded some good intel. That, paired with an article online about a literal pile of dead bodies with no eyeballs found, is enough to convince Team Free And Available (Sam, Bobby, and Mary) to head to Duluth of all places. Generally a pile of bodies would just add one more thing to my list of reasons to never go to Duluth, especially in October (I’m with Bobby there), but hey I’m not a hunter. If you’re wondering why Cas isn’t joining the happy band of hunters, it’s for two reasons: There is too big of a risk that Michael would sense Cas’s infinitesimal amount of grace, tipping him off to their presence; and someone needs to hang around the bunker and watch Jack as he enters his emo-teen phase (oh how time flies when you’re a parent!), as well as Nick, who is all kinds of fucked up/potentially still demon-y IMO. After everyone agrees that it ain’t easy being around Nick (both for the fact that he was Lucifer’s face for a decade and the fact that that he’s such a goddamn downer these days), Sam, Mary, and Bobby head north.

Speaking of Nick, he’s still sitting in the dark in his dungeon room, moping and having Devil flashbacks when Cas brings him some food. Nick notices that Cas is basically moonwalking to avoid looking at him and asks rhetorically why he would have possibly said yes to Lucifer, not realizing that he was asking around Cas, who doesn’t take anything rhetorically. Cas explains to him that he was sad and lost and Lucifer took advantage of him in his grief over the murders of his wife and child, which until now has seemed to somehow slip his mind? Either way, Nick starts to cry and we’re all uncomfortable with seeing legit grief on Old Neck’s face.

Back in Duluth, our trio heads to the morgue. Thankfully for Bobby and his super-smooth use of acronyms, not a lot happens in Duluth so the ME doesn’t ask too many questions and generally just goes with the flow of The Feds, leaving them alone to poke at the bodies. They discover that not only were these angel kills, but they’re vampires. After a round of “what the FUCK?!” looks to each other, and questioning why the hell Michael is messing with nom-noms, they ask the ME if anyone had come in to identify the bodies and, dontcha know, somebody sure has!

After Cas is done with awkward room service duties, he finds Jack scouring a bunch of books, trying to learn the timeframe for grace restoration. We get some nice retconning when he states that the books say anywhere from a month to a century… which is super helpful. Cas adds to this by mentioning that archangel grace is different, and if you factor in that Jack is half hooman, who knows when Jack will be restored? This either means that Alexander Calvert has a secure job, or Jack is dying, because no way they’ll keep him on if he’s fully restored, if we go by the show’s history and past interviews, since having someone that powerful within easy reach makes for boring TV. How much trouble can the boys get into when they can just make a phone call and have a near god come clean up the beasty messes? Cas couldn’t stick around much if he were fully gracified for that same reason. Jack is lamenting his loss when Cas tells him to try and focus more on what he has, rather than what he’s lost. He then talks about how he felt after The Great Fall; the loss and grief that came with it, as well as the loneliness of falling. Cas tells Jack (and thereby us) about his feelings and I’m so grateful for it, because he’s been carrying this weight for so long, and I think the only way for Cas to really heal is to help others, and he finally has someone celestial who is worthy of his efforts and love. Cas tells him that though he felt this way, he had to focus on what he did have: Sam and Dean, and more importantly, himself, the very core of who he was. Cas finishes by reminding Jack that Dean and Sam didn’t become as skilled as they are overnight. It took patience and perseverance, as well as failing as much as winning. It’s such a strong moment for the two of them, and strikes at what the heart of this show is about: found family.

Speaking of failing, we’re back in Duluth to see Michael all tuxedoed up ready for a night… in some fantasy version of Duluth where people go out in black tie all that often. While Michael is gazing at his fine form in the mirror, Dean comes through in the reflection, telling Michael to get out. The disinvitation and expulsion don’t work, however, and Michael tells Dean to “enjoy the ride (hehe)” before heading out. In a much more… casual part of town and after a phone call with Cas, who also says that Michael hunting vampires doesn’t make any sense, Sam, Mary, and Bobby track down the girl from the morgue who is, you guessed it, the vampire we saw chained up in the opening scene! They question her and she tells them that she and her nest were veggie-vamps who didn’t eat people, and that she wasn’t sure what the fuck Michael was doing, but that it ended up in her whole nest being dead (except her) and that it didn’t seem like he was trying to kill them, but that he was experimenting. Bobby is about to stake her when she tells them she knows where Michael is, thereby saving her life. Always best to lend a helping hand!

In the bunker, after getting off the phone with Sam, Cas goes back to talk to Nick, who is losing his shit over the fact that no one has done anything to get justice for his family, which, fair. Cas tries to comfort Nick, who Lucie-Snaps at him. Meaning literal snap of fingers. This, understandably freaks Cas out, even more so when Nick immediately has no memory of the action. Ugh, see I KNEW Lucifer isn’t dead for real. *Deep breaths.* Cas tries to feel any remnants of Lucifer in Nick while voicing his concern that Nick still might be influenced by him. Yikes. Time to get the chains back on, if you ask me!! After Nick calls Cas a bodysnatcher and tells him he’s no better than Lucifer for what he did to Jimmy, Cas tells him that what happened to the Novak family is his single biggest regret in all his thousands of years and honestly this is such a strong Cas episode, I can almost forgive that Lucifer, er NICK, is still in it.

Meanwhile, Michael is back in his room after heading to a bar (in a TUX?!) and picking up a lady friend. The two flirt, or…well, she flirts– Mikey’s a bit rusty at it– but hey he’s not here for horizontal funtimes, as it turns out. The woman is a werewolf and, after throwing her against a wall (in the not fun way), Michael tells her to summon her master. The pack leader joins the party, and Michael goes into his sales pitch of “you’re so pure and yada yada yada” which the pack leader is all about. Yay, people farms! Woohoo! But the idea of waging war on humans is a pipe dream… or is it?? Michael tells him he’s got a way to give them the edge and I’m not yet sure if he’s planning to amp up vampires and werewolves, or if he’s moved on, but either way, the pack leader is interested. #TeamJacob! Michael later finds Lydia the Alive-For-Now veggie vamp and thanks her for being his unwitting bait before killing her. And no one saw it coming.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the country is Jack, meeting his grandparents, a sweet couple who have no idea that their daughter is dead. Jack visits with them under the guise of being a friend of Kelly’s, and spends some time with the only genetic link he has with his humanity. He tells them about her baby and how much she loves him, he’s unable to tell them she’s dead, but her dad seems to sense something is up, I mean the kid is looking through scrapbooks and choking up. Even being willing to look at a stranger’s family albums should be a hint that all isn’t well. Anyway, they part ways and Jack promises to tell Kelly they miss her when he next sees her. Oof. My heart.

When Jack returns to the bunker, it’s to an unhappy surrogate father, as Cas reminds him that he doesn’t have any powers (or fighting skills), but that doesn’t mean that literally every faction of Heaven, Hell, and the spaces in between aren’t looking for him. Jack goes full teenager mode and yells about his “real family” and I feel like I’m suddenly in my own house. When he tells Cas that he couldn’t bear to tell his grandparents of their daughter’s death, Cas tells him there are worse ways to be human than to express kindness before letting Jack know they’d found Michael. This leads to an interesting moral quandary and argument: Jack is baffled as to why they wouldn’t just kill Michael when they get the opportunity, rather than trying to trap him to save Dean which, to Jack’s credit, has historically not worked out super well. Cas won’t even hear of letting Dean die, but when Jack asks if Cas thinks Dean would want it any other way, Cas can’t answer. He knows it’s true, but what we know and what we want and feel rarely go hand-in-hand. Too much heart. That was always Castiel’s problem.


One other thing Cas needs to learn: The concept of babysitting. Honestly, Cas, it’s just pizza and movies til bedtime come ON! Both Jack and Nick manage to leave the bunker while Cas is keeping an eye on them, and both went to learn about their pasts. Jack went to see Kelly’s parents, and Nick went to harass and interrogate his old neighbor who, way back in the pre-Say Yes To Being Lucifer’s Dress days, told police he’d seen a man leaving Nick’s house the night his family was slaughtered, only to recant his statement later. Nick is understandably unhappy with Arty the Neighbor, and seems to think he has something to do with the murder. He forgets one kind of important detail when interrogating suspects, though and eventually beats Arty to death with a hammer, just like his wife and son were killed. Oops. My spidey sense is telling me that Nick was probably a bit of a piece of shit before Lucifer found him, but we shall see. Nick is losing his mind, and honestly this might be the only way I’ll be interested in this storyline. If Nick goes from whiney self-righteous captive to vigilante murderer who has lost some touch with reality, I could see opportunities there. We’ll have to see how it plays out.

Back in Duluth, Sam, Mary, and Bobby head to the church where Michael was playing with his celestial chemistry set, only to find it empty, well unless you count a shit load of blood. Just as they let their guard down in the empty sanctuary, a fuckton of werewolves pop out and attack. No problem, right? WRONG. Silver doesn’t work on these weres and they’re a lot rougher than the run-of-the-mill beasties we’ve seen. Thankfully, decapitation is still a pretty effective way to kill things (damn, Bobby with that hatchet, though!), and eventually the hunters are victorious, just in time for Michael to walk in! Oh wait! No, it’s Dean! He said Sammy and took his pageboy hat off! It must be him! Sam asks if Dean is okay, which of all the questions… Dean tells them that he couldn’t expel Michael but hey no worries because Michael just left on his own, which honestly if I ever had Dean’s body I’d hang onto it like a scared koala to a tree branch. Just sayin’. And, that’s it!

Anyway, I’d like to report a theft, because honestly Castiel and Misha Collins stole this whole episode. I mean there was a lot here, between Michael’s experiments, the whole “Nick” of it all, and Jack’s growth and grief, but what tied it together was Cas, and his grounding of everyone around him. His rapport with two people who are both tormented in ways he can relate to is such a welcome change from what we usually see of Cas these days: fucking up and feeling shitty about it, but keeping that inside only to explode later. For a long time fans have been wanting to see more insight into Cas’s mental wellbeing and to feel like Cas is finally coming to terms with his past and is at peace with himself, and this episode was a huge step towards that.

What did you think of Gods and Monsters? Do you think Lucifer is truly gone? Michael?