Hoo boy this was a tough one. When I wrote my review of Raising Hell, I opined that the script showed that Supernatural and its writers seemed to be suffering from a strong case of senioritis. I had concerns that the imminent ending would lead to a rather watered-down final season rather than the curtain call this story, its fans, and the cast and crew who have worked so hard deserved. I’m glad to see Bobo Berens prove me wrong in The Rupture.
The title tells the whole story and not enough all at once. The rupture in the Earth leading to Hell, the rupture in relationships, causing mistrust and tension, and ultimately the loss and sacrifice needed to heal at least one, if not the other.
I usually write a blow-by-blow of each episode, and I tried to do that for this one, but the whole thing felt too big, too pivotal, to make a bunch of silly quips. Last episode didn’t give enough damns for me to work with, and this one almost gives too many for me to handle as a fan. But hey, here goes:
Everything thus far in the season has taken place over a matter of days, and this is no different. Rowena, Cas, Sam, Dean, and Belphy have a plan to strengthen the wall around town in order to buy more time. The plan, like so many plans in their lives, goes awry and Rowena gives the ominous news that they’re all going to die. Not just our heros, but everyone. The rage and evil of the Hell Souls is too much and they have mere hours before the wall falls and the world is swallowed in it.
Never one to give up in the odds of hopelessness, Dean gets ready to kill (or salt?) as many ghosts as he can beforehand. I’m not sure if he’s forgotten that salt and iron don’t actually kill ghosts, or if he’s just so angry and twisted up inside that he can’t think straight. We have seen Dean go through a multitude of emotions over the years, and we’ve seen in him every shade of rage and despair, but this is new. His laser focus on “doing the job” so he doesn’t have to think about all he has lost (or thinks he’s lost) is borderline fanatical. Sam does his best to reason with his brother, but it’s useless as Dean Rambofies himself.
This is perfect timing for Belphy to step in with yet another Super Duper Not Suspicious Plan Right In The Nick Of Time! He tells everyone that Lilith made this cool Crook to call all the souls of Hell to her if they got out of hand. And Hey! It’s probably just sitting there! Belphy selflessly volunteers to blow the Crook and be in charge of Hell and all its souls and demons, because he’s just nice like that. AWESOME!! Dean has zero issues throwing both himself and, more recklessly, Cas under the bus when they come up with the absolutely foolproof plan of “Cas and (soon to be King) Belphy go to Hell while Sam and Rowena make a healing bomb for the tear for Dean to toss into the rupture!” It really says a lot about Dean and Sam’s mental states that they don’t even for a moment question anything while Cas is able to see a bigger picture, as Billie likes to call it.
Speaking of bigger pictures, Ketch is in hospital, recovering from his wounds and trying to leave AMA when scary Demon Doctor Ardat comes in. She kills the nurse who was trying to talk Ketch into extending his hospital stay, and is none too happy with Ketch for, ya know… not killing Belphy like he was hired to. Remember how she told him Belphy was a danger to all the world? Welp, Ketch sure does for the second between Ardat ripping his heart out of his chest and then crushing it. Okay. I hate Ketch. I really do. He’s a mercenary and, a dick. However, I actually felt a bit for him here. He refused to give up TFW and their location, and with that first and last shred of loyalty, he died a pretty undignified and lonely death. Ardat then uses the oldest trick in the past 20 years and texts Dean from Ketch’s phone to get the deets of the plan.
Said plan is currently in motion, and you may have noticed that Belphegor really enjoys spending time with the Winchesters and their most loyal friend and companion. He mostly enjoys undermining and needling that bond in super subtle (and not so subtle) ways, so it’s no surprise when Cas pushes him into the Hell hole after the demon turns Cas’s own words about the Winchesters using Belphy as a means to an end against the angel. The two land in a super empty and quiet Hell, which makes Cas question Belphegor’s insistence on protection, and after killing a lonely looting demon, the two find the box with the Crook just laying around. CONVENIENT!! It is warded with Enochian, which is less convenient, except wouldn’t you know it? An angel is there. Cas sings the song to break the warding (this being a cutaway scene is something I will never forgive) while up top the rest of the team gets into place.
Once they get the Crook, Belphy tells Cas to get a head start and he’ll get to blowin’. Cas, who is the ONLY ONE to be suspicious of this super helpful demon, hesitates just long enough for Ardat to show up. They all fight, and somewhere in there, Ardat warns Cas of Belphy’s ambitious plans. Looks like the little demon that could is wanting to rule EVERYTHING, not just Hell. Belphy kills Ardat and informs Cas that not only is the Crook a leash, it’s a syphon and he’s going to absorb all the Hell souls. He starts to blow the horn, and up top it looks like all is working. The spell starts, the souls get sucked up, and Dean throws his little spell bomb in the hole. For making a big deal about not having protection, the eldest Winchester seems to have zero trouble standing at the rupture. All the soul sucking stops, however, because down below, Cas, knowing what will happen if he doesn’t, stops Belphegor and smites him despite “Jack’s” pleas.
As soon as the spell stops working, Rowena knows what’s up. Sam and Dean, at their respective posts in the crypt and next to the rupture, are confused. Cas re-appears at Dean’s side and tries to tell him what happened below, but Dean is too angry at Cas making the call to change the plan to listen to the more important details. Rowena, though… She knows what went wrong and what has to happen as she, my beautiful badass lass, cuts her last resurrection satchel out of her shoulder. She explains to Sam that since this didn’t work, there is only one way to get the souls back. It’s obviously her last resort, since it requires her own death. Sam balks at killing Rowena, and the two have a really touching and heartbreaking moment together. He at first refuses, but Rowena tells him she can’t kill herself, but she believes in magic and the prophecy that Sam will be the one to kill her. Convinced, a tearful Sam hugs her while he stabs her in the stomach. I gotta say, this scene was so poignant and touching and beautifully done. I have loved the growth of Sam and Rowena’s relationship and the heartbreak in their final moments is devastating.
Dean is out yelling at Cas when the souls start being drawn into Rowena’s wound. She walks to the edge, tells the boys goodbye, and jumps in, taking all the souls with her and closing the tear. It’s a damn good death, and Rowena deserves no less.
Back at the bunker, Dean comforts Sam with more of the same “Hey you didn’t have a choice, but we did it” placations he seems to have an endless supply of when it comes to his baby bro. He has no such patience or understanding when it comes to Cas, however. Cas apologizes for what happened with Rowena, and reminds Dean that something always goes wrong. Dean crushes the angel with the sharp retort of, “Why does something always seem to be you?” There is no understanding. There is no reflection or thought about circumstances or bigger pictures. Dean didn’t want to hear that Belphegor was planning to make himself a god, because Dean was totally fine to kick that can down the road, as he’s done for so long. Cas laments that Dean used to trust him, but now that he doesn’t, it’s time to move on. He starts to leave and Dean asks where he’s going, and Cas explains that he’s tried to talk to Dean about his failing powers, his doubts and choices, but Dean doesn’t want to hear it and doesn’t care, so he’s leaving. And he does. And Dean is left alone. Again.
Alright, I have a lot of feelings about this episode. First: Rowena. Damn, she had a fantastic death. Like, I love her and will miss her, but man, what redemption! As far as the last scene between Dean and Cas, I can understand how easy it is to be pissed at Dean, I certainly am, but his pain and struggle is about so much more than his mother dying or Cas’s role in her death. Does that excuse him treating like shit the angel who faced Hell to save him, then rebelled and fell to follow him? Of course not, but everything Dean has ever known to be true has been a lie, and he has no coping method. And now Cas did the best he could in a situation that went sideways not because he’s a well-meaning screw up, but because Dean and Sam too readily trusted a demon, and on top of it had to char-broil the body of his son and leave it in Hell. Cas is allowed to hurt, too. All that being said, the break up (or rupture) hurts, but I’m glad to see Cas finally decide he’s had enough. He has been Dean’s punching bag for a long time now, and I’m glad to see him walk out. For now, it looks like the Winchesters’ allies are falling away left and right, and with that bullet-wound of Sam’s… thinking this whole thing with Chuck is over is quite frankly, a mistake.