I figured we were going to be seeing a lot of old faces this season: some welcome, others less so. Raising Hell gave us a bit of both in this fairly ho-hum second episode of Supernatural’s fifteenth season.

TFW 1.75 is still in Harlan, Kansas, trying to contain the ghosts and keep order. It’s not easy since it’s a town full of Karens who don’t seem to think a little gas leak is reason enough to not have things their way. One of the townsfolk head into the quarantine zone to get some allergy medication since Benadryl is just so hard to come by so she can’t go to Walgreens. In a shock only to her, a ghost-possessed neighbor in a robe stabs her. 

Later we find out that this isn’t just any ghost, however, it’s Jack the Ripper aka Francis Tumblety since I guess Buckleming have definitively solved that mystery. He and his other super baddie ghost buddies are forming what seems to be a union of some sort and it’s hard for me not to root for them. I’ve never been one to cross a picket line.

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Back at the high school, the rest of the flock notice their missing Karen, so a few decide that they’re “going to get some answers” by breaking into the quarantine zone. They must think the Winchester’s manager is in there. This also doesn’t go well for them because of course not. They get jumped by ghosts so Tumblety can put on a show for the hunters, while trying to negotiate the dropping of the warding. This goes over like a lead balloon, and just when our idiot neighbor folks are about to get ghostly murdered, a bunch of iron confetti shot by none other than Ketch rains down on them, expelling the ghosts. He shows off his new toy while flirting hard with Rowena who has also come to help out. The boys “Ketch” him up (I know I’m hilarious) on what’s been happening, and when Ketch meets Belphy, we find out he was hired to kill the demon. Awkward. 

This motherfucker. Gah! Image Courtesy of CW

Not as awkward as Dean is feeling with both Ketch and Rowena thirsting after each other and talking to Dean about it. It’s weird and uncomfortable, truth be told. Could I see this potential pairing? Eh, maybe but it’s not one I’ve thought much about, and the handling of the whole thing was clumsy. Anyway. They’re hot for each other and I’m not feelin’ it. What I am feeling, however, is some good old fashioned fighting between besties who are both hurting and neither is able to easily make things right. Cas and Dean have needed to have A Talk for a while now, if for no other reason than to focus. Cas apologizes to Dean about the whole “Jack has no soul” thing, but it turns out Dean is angry about a whole lot more than that. The hunter is in a full blown angry existential crisis since learning that Chuck has been playing them all along. Cas tries to reason with Dean that, though Chuck made the course, they ran their own race. Dean can’t believe Cas isn’t more pissed, but they literally do not have the time or luxury to be angry right now. Cas reminds Dean that, regardless of what Chuck did or didn’t do, THEY are real. Man, I do love me some angst.

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This scene is one of two highlights of the episode for me, the other one being the return (though brief it may be) of Kevin Tran. Turns out Chuck was fucking with them when he said Kevin would go to Heaven. Kev has some Hell Clout theses days, and offers to help the boys. This doesn’t go well since, ya know… Sam and Dean are all the hot goss in Hell and Tumblety knows ALL about his true loyalties. After some negotiating, and some Ketch possession that leads to Dean shooting the assassin (just a flesh wound), Rowena uses her Soul Catcher™ to suck up some ghosties. It isn’t enough, what with the gaping maw that is the Hell Gate, but it’ll have to do. Once things quiet down a little bit, Kevin asks if there is any way Belphy can lower the warding enough to let him out. Dean and Sam balk at the idea that Kevin would do this and insist that they can get him into Heaven. Except, souls that have been in Hell can’t go to Heaven (John and Bobby being the exception since Chuck used to like the Winchesters), and he’d rather see the world than get tortured some more.

Speaking of Chuck, he’s headed to Reno to annoy his sister, who is not having it. Amara is looking too good for this shit. She calls her brother a petulant child and when she realises he’s not complete thanks to his bullet wound (which has somehow bound him to Sam), the Darkness says goodbye to her little brother and heads out. 

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I just found this whole episode completely tedious and dull. I wasn’t even sure how to write a review for it. There isn’t much there to inspire that many observations, let alone any quips or jokes. The whole thing (minus Dean and Cas fighting) fell flat. I really hope this isn’t a trend for the final season because, if I’m being honest, this is one of the first times I’ve sat and thought, “If this is the caliber of writing we’re getting, maybe it’s best this is the end.” That thought really didn’t have anything to do with the acting; I’m still digging Alex Calvert as Belphy, and I will die for Ruth Connell’s Rowena, but something about it just felt as if this was the last week before retirement so the writers stopped caring.