I think it’s time we check in with the writers room of Supernatural and make sure that everyone there is okay and we’re not in the French Mistake universe, because there has been a shocking lack of innovation and outside-the-box thinking in this season of Supernatural, and none more so than last week’s “Unhuman Nature.” I’m not sure what I watched, but I’ll give you the rundown so you don’t have to.
I’m not going to do the usual review here, because honestly there isn’t a whole lot to unpack. Here’s a super quick gist though: Jack is sick, Nick is a not-quite serial serial killer who doesn’t like feeling sad for torturing and murdering people, Cas talks to a shaman, Dean is a worried dad, and who knows what the hell Sam is doing.
This is a little more vague than I actually want to be, but when the entire episode can be summed up in what amounts to little more than the synopsis, with little to no more nuance or sense in the story, you have yourself a BuckLeming episode.
Here we go: Jack is sick and finally the supernatural experts that are the Winchesters figure out that a Graceless Nephilim coughing up blood and seizing is probably a bit more complicated than your average childhood cold, so they take Jack to the hospital after Cas can’t heal him or figure out what the fuck is wrong with the kid. The Winchesters have defeated Heaven, Hell, Heaven again, Hell some more, and then also Heaven teamed up with Hell (and let’s not forget God’s sister), but even they are no match for America’s healthcare system. Once Jack again collapses at the ER triage desk, he gets shuffled away. This is also a fun tip for going to the Emergency Room in America, which is a whole other can of too-political-for-a-nerd-site worms, but suffice it to say this is the most realistic and scariest thing ever to be shown on a TV show about monsters. So, the doctors work on Jack while his three worried dads pace the waiting room.
Meanwhile, unfortunately, we have to see what the fuck Nick is up to. And that is apparently a lot of torture and murder of priests and just generally whatever person the writers feel throwing into the garbage disposal that is Nick’s general orbit. Remember when Nick killed his former neighbor, Artie? Well, Nick next tried to get Artie’s priest to spill what poor Hammerhead Artie (as in, he was killed by a hammer to the head) confessed to. Not willing to break Holy Sacrament, the priest didn’t tell him, so Nick crucified him in a doorway before slitting his throat. Because…subtlety? This all happened offscreen; why show action when you can write a shitload of exposition? After he’s done with that little bit of murder, Nick later meets up at a diner with a journalist who wrote about the killing of his family way back when. The reporter tells him about the first cop on the scene and color me shocked when Nick doesn’t kill her, too!
Back at the hospital, the doctor thinks nothing of HIPAA and tells the rando trio of middle-aged men that her patient is in total organ failure and all they can do is run more tests. Fire up that GoFundMe page! Dean decides they’re done with human remedies and they take Jack out of the hospital, calling Rowena to help. Fucking finally. I’ve missed RowRow.
Rowena comes to the bunker and apparently didn’t know that Jack was Lucifer’s son… guess who doesn’t read their Christmas cards?? But after some flattery and charm from Jack (and begging from Sam), Rowena examines the boy. She tells them that the only thing that can hope to help Jack is getting his Grace back (because a Nephilim is against the natural order of things and an abomination, etc). Cas offers up his Grace, but that won’t do because Chuck forbid the writers allow Castiel to help with anything for ONCE. Oh yeah, and Dean’s vertigo-y and shit every time people talk about archangels and whatnot. Golly gee, how odd. It’s almost as if Michael being NOWHERE TO BE FOUND for all this time was kinda hinky…
Back to Nick (if we must). He’s loitering outside a nightclub when the lame-ass lion that is him finds the weak gazelle in the herd. Meaning Nick spots a woman. Alone. In and alley outside a nightclub on her fucking phone. If the hospital was the most realistic thing in this episode, then the idea that in this day and age a woman would be alone at night in a creepy-ass alley, looking on her phone and all her friends just let her do this stupid thing, is the least realistic. We (women) don’t even go to the bathroom alone for safety purposes. Nick tries to tell himself to stay in the car and not get all murdery, but he has the impulse control of a toddler, so he starts to chat her up. Not finding a middle-aged man hovering outside the club at all weird, she invites him in to hang out with her and her friends. Nick, though, starts to scream at her to get away from him and she finally realizes that maybe this wasn’t the smartest thing she’s ever done and runs back inside.
Back at the bunker Jack is packing up to go to Vegas or Tahiti which, honestly I’m not sure what it would even take to make me go back to Vegas voluntarily, but hey, I’m old now. Dean finds him and asks what’s up. Jack says he’s done being special and just wants to have some normality before he dies, which, understandable. Meanwhile Sam and RowRow are calling everyone they can think of to help Jack, when Sam gets a hit. Apparently there is a Shaman whom the Men Of Letters (I never thought I’d miss that storyline, but here we are) used when they couldn’t research their problems away. He’s conveniently located within driving distance, too, so Cas volunteers to go talk to him. Dean, meanwhile, is gonna take Jack for a drive.
And here we start the only part of this episode that I not only enjoyed, but would happily read all the fics about: Dean and Jack having some father/son bonding. Dean teaches Jack how to drive, and it’s bittersweet because I think being a father is something Dean has always wanted but could never have, and this is the closest he’s ever going to get to it. They eat roadside food and go fishing, where Jack tells Dean that when he dies, it will be moments like this he’ll miss. Jack tells Dean’s he’s had a good life and Dean is basically cough-not-crying at the end because FEELINGS.
Sadly, since we can’t have the good without the bad, we’re back with Nick, who is at the cop’s house. Just to talk. The cop eventually tells Nick what happened, and it turns out a demon possessed him and killed Nick’s family. Nick takes a moment to assure the cop it wasn’t his fault before beating him to death this his trusty hammer, because he’s Nick.
Cas takes his Prius(?) (because Castiel wants to protect the Earth from both demons and harmful emissions) to see the Shaman Sergei, who sounds more like a street magician than anything else. “I answer the unanswerable. I know the unknowable. Pick a card, any card.” The Shaman, after some pontificating, gives Cas a vial of Gabriel Grace and a spell, then sends him on his way with a “The Winchesters owe me” which, honestly is just insulting to the fucking angel asking for your help. But, if anything the past few seasons has taught me, it’s that there isn’t much the writers won’t do to make Cas seem like the hapless, helpless sidekick rather than the warrior and tactician he was for Millenia.
Cas goes back to the bunker and Sam (you remember Sam, right? Tall guy? The brother who doesn’t like pie?) asks the dumbest and most pointless question: “Are you sure this will work?” No, Sam. they’re not sure. This has literally never happened before, but what the fuck else are they gonna do? Jack takes the Grace, Rowena reads the spell, and Jack gets better before getting a whole lot worse. Cas calls Sergei to yell at him and the Shaman is unfazed, saying “Hey, experiments are just that!” Cas makes a threat, and Rowena tells them the only thing left to do is watch over Jack as he dies. I feel like Rowena’s been gone too long if she thinks that’s a thing these guys are capable of doing.
Oh yeah. Also Nick. Nick loves his new hobby, but isn’t a fan of the sad and icky feelings that killing people can bring. All the whining about not wanting any consequences and shit makes me think maybe he WAS Lucifer’s true vessel, after all. They’re certainly peas in a pod. Anyway. Nick prays to and whines to Lucifer and just like that, Lucifer wakes up in the empty. For fuck’s sake.
Okay, there was a lot to hate about this episode, for sure, but the whole Lucifer bullshit has to be the worst possible thing on the planet, and it says something about the show that my first thought was “I bet if Lucifer’s vessel wasn’t a white guy, this storyline and character would finally fucking stay dead.” Not only is the storyline boring and tired, this bullshit of Nick being able to reach Lucifer in the Empty with nothing more than one pissant complaint negates BOTH Dean’s sacrifice by saying yes to Michael in order to kill this waste of airtime, and the whole “Jack is insanely powerful” shit we’ve been led to believe. If prayers and begging were enough to wake an angel from the empty, Cas would have been back from the dead within hours. Dean begged, he pleaded and prayed to literally anyone or anything to get Cas back and got nada. And the reason of Nick’s “bond” to Lucifer is even more bullshit. Nick’s body died a long ass time ago and the vessel walking around now isn’t actually Nick, and there has never been shit said about any “bond.” Dean and Cas have the “Profound Bond,” and that meant less than nothing when it came to the Empty, not to mention that Sam is not only Lucifer’s true vessel, but has been possessed by him as well. There is absolutely nothing special about this Nick/Lucifer thing except for the laziness of writers who don’t give a shit either about continuity or good storytelling.