Supernatural: S13E01 – “Lost and Found”

Welcome back everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season (I sure did!) and I hope you’re all ready for a new year to begin (I sure am!) I hope it’s better than the last two, which frankly is a pretty low bar, so I’m sure that means we’ll somehow find a way to wriggle under it. As you can see, my New Year’s resolutions do not include becoming less cynical. Whether that glass is half full or half empty though, all it means is I haven’t yet drunk enough, so let’s get this party started!

As we all know, there won’t be any new Supernatural episodes until January 18th, so I’m going back during reruns to catch up reviews on the first four episodes of the season I missed this year. Please be warned that I’m coming at these reviews from the perspective of having seen to the 9th episode of season 13 so that may colour my reviews and give away certain information. For example, there’s a pretty large spoiler for episode 5 of this season in this review (even if most of us were “spoiled” on this before the season even began, but you may not have been, so beware.) You have been warned!

The Road So Far:

So, you obviously need to remember the major plot points of season 12 for this episode, especially episode 23 “All Along The Watchtower” but if you’re also coming to this straight off of s13e09, you’ll be fine. If you’re coming to this at some point in the future and it’s been a while since you saw season 12, the recap should catch you up just fine unless it’s been a verrrry long time since you saw season 12. Otherwise, you might want to go back and watch the pilot (1.01) and “Home” (1.09) in order to brush up on some specific things this episode calls back to in those episodes.

Now:

After the recap, we check in with where our boys are. First, Sam has run back into the house and is currently confronted with a glowing eyed man-ish (teen-ish?) being where a baby should be who is asking for his father…or who has maybe imprinted on Sam and is asking “Are You My Mother Father?”
Are You My Mother book 2
(Can someone with more skill than me please turn this into an Are You My Father book with bird Jack peering down into dog Sam’s face? Pretty please? Sam won’t mind, he loves dogs! Even more than he loves Dean sometimes! What? Who’s still bitter? Certainly not me!) Dean meanwhile is still outside, facing the empty space where his Mom just was and the body on the ground where his friend used to be. He doesn’t look too good right now. Don’t know why, it’s not like he has a fear bordering on phobia about losing those close to him or anything. And it’s not like he’s already had to lose these two specific people before either. He should be just fine!

Ok, now that we’ve established where our boys are, we head back in to where Sam realizes Jack HAS imprinted on him and thinks he’s his Dad…easy mistake to make, Jack’s Dad did once “wear (Sam) to the prom” after all! But if you’re looking for a substitute father figure Jack, I think you want Dean. (Ha, I’m going to be good and not even make an indecent joke right here..yeah, I’m going to be a really good girl, promise!) Dean did raise Sammy after all and Dean has frequently been shown to be better with kids than Sam. Sam’s better with dogs (NOT BITTER!) Sam isn’t ready to be a Daddy (hee hee), so he corrects Jack about who he is just as we hear Dean come in the house and come looking for Sam. As soon as Dean sees a full-grown nephilim where a baby ought to be, he of course goes right for the killing, but Sam isn’t so sure that’s warranted just yet, so he tries to stop him. Jack tries to protect himself and blasts the two of them flat on their asses.

Suddenly, we’re back to the moment where Lucifer dragged Mary with him into the other world as the portal closed for good. It’s kind of funny how the show started off with a flashback to Mary’s death in the pilot and now here in season 13 we’re starting off with a flashback to her second death. Well, maybe death, we’ll see. This is just setting the scene so to speak for all of the season 1 callbacks I’ve been seeing this season and so far don’t know what to make of. So does this mean we’re about to find out what happened to Mary? Nope, seems like this was just what Dean happens to be “dreaming” about while knocked out. Doesn’t really surprise me. So Dean comes too and oh look, it’s daylight! That’s not concerning at all, maybe check for concussions boys? The boys look around the house and surrounding area, but there’s no Jack to be found.

Jack is meanwhile walking naked down a forested road, still looking for a Daddy his father (I’m so weak), when he comes across a pirate themed restaurant. There are a couple of teens inside, one trying to do his job while the other changes all of the menu items’ names to include “butt”…you know, being productive. Kid has a good future as a commenter at The Avocado! Suddenly, they hear Jack’s voice over the drive-thru speaker saying “father?” because he has now imprinted on the pirate shaped statue the speaker is housed in. I think the bird may have been smarter. Jack obviously has a lot to learn. (But not how to walk and talk, those he’s got down like a pro so far!) Once the teens flip on the outdoor camera and see Jack letting it all hang out, it’s time for the slacker to call his Mom, who just so happens to be the local sheriff…convenient!

Our boys are out driving around, looking for Jack and Dean’s multi-tasking by also going over their inventory of weapons to see just what they might have on hand that could be strong enough to finish off Jack. Of course soft-hearted Sam isn’t sure this is the right course of action, so Dean does a rundown of just what Jack has cost them so far. Crowley, dead. Kelly, dead. Cas…he can’t even say it (d’awww). Mary, gone. (He can’t even THINK it just yet.) And Jack has grown to adult(?)hood in a second and was super powerful even in utero and almost killed them before he took off without a trace. They don’t even know if he’s still on the same continent right now, as he may be able to teleport (fly) like angels do. Sam reminds Dean that the almost killing them part at least was an act of self-defense and he tries to sell Dean on the idea of waiting to see which side of the war between good and evil the kid falls on before they kill him. Dean isn’t as willing to wait and see while this already powerful being gets a chance to become even stronger in his power.

Back at the restaurant, Sheriff (Christine) Barker has shown up and tries to help Jack who is looking pretty angry about the gun on her hip. Will he end up hurting her too? Looks like we’ll have to wait while we head back to the house where Jack was “born” and we pan up from Cas’ body (sob!) to see a couple of angels doing what angels do best…being dicks. They’re also looking for Jack. Great. I’m sure they only want him for good things and not dick things at all. (Hee hee, I’m sooo weak.)

Then we find ourselves at the sheriff’s department and it looks like Jack has behaved himself and not hurt anyone…and he found some clothes, yay! Jack is mesmerized by all of the new things he’s experiencing, which is making it difficult for Sheriff Barker to get information from him. Probably for the best anyway. Especially since when he does give her information, it’s tidbits like how he remembers “the bad woman” (Dagon) burning and how the universe screamed. Not really helpful at all. So instead, the Sheriff takes his prints to try to identify him. Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s son has been following this whole exchange avidly and he’s pretty sure he’s figured Jack out. As soon as his Mom leaves to run Jack’s print, he asks Jack “Dude! Just how high are you?” Jack has no good answer as he has no idea just what this kid is talking about. It’s so strange just what Jack knows (walking, talking, etc) and what he doesn’t. (What are water bottles? What do some words mean…but only some? Who even is my father? Is he an inanimate statue?) Of course, Jack having no idea of what the kid is talking about just reinforces his belief that he’s right, especially when Jack then tells him he’s super hungry.

We head back to the restaurant where the poor kid whose Mom isn’t the Sheriff/sleeping with the restaurant owner is stuck working by himself. Life really isn’t fair kid. The boys drive in looking for Jack. If he was on foot, he would have walked by, so Sam wants to check it out. Dean is skeptical, he thinks Jack will be on a mission to destroy the world and wouldn’t have stopped in at a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. And that’s even if he’s walking and not flying, in which case he could be anywhere. So Sam goes in alone to the restaurant to check if Jack is/was there and Dean calls Jody to see if she can put out a national APB on Jack and help widen their search net.

Inside, the poor working kid is being harassed by an annoying drunk woman. Yeah, working in the service industry really sucks. I feel your pain kid, I’ve been there. Sam comes in and asks after Jack and even Sam is surprised to find out Jack was there earlier. Outside, Dean finishes the phone call to Jody and gets out of the car and wanders off, doing Chuck knows what. (Turns out that yeah, Chuck does know what, but that’s for later.) All very mysterious!

We see Sheriff Barker, at her computer, get a call from Sam about Jack right about the same time she’s finding out, with us, that nephilim don’t actually have fingerprints. Awkward! She tells Sam that maybe they should chat in person.

Back at Baby, Dean is coming back from his mysterious stroll with a bruised and bloody hand. Now either Dean just came across a nice, quick and easy hunt or he’s been letting out his grief and frustration as anger again. Oh Dean, does it never actually occur to you that as hard as you find it is to express yourself in healthy ways, it might actually be easier on you than your current method of shoving down all those feelings with food and booze until they can’t be stuffed down any longer and come exploding out in knuckle-destroying rage? That’s like a literal, straight swap of food for thought, but maybe you should consider this as more metaphorical food for thought. So Dean comes back to find the drunk girl who had been inside, is now outside and hanging around Baby. She better not have touched anything! Dean is just not in a mood to tolerate a scratch in Baby’s paint job right now. She starts rambling on and we find out she’s not just a drunk girl, she’s a drunk, not-entirely-rational girl who lit all of her roommate’s belongings on fire because she found her annoying. Hmmm, sounds like her and Dean may have a lot in common! Sam comes out and lets Dean know he knows where Jack is, so off they go.

Back at the Sheriff’s department, the lights are going a bit wonky, flickering in and out. (Never a good sign in this universe.) So the Sheriff gets up to investigate and also finds her son and Jack aren’t where she last left them either. Uh oh, is something wrong? Nah, not really. Jack and the kid…who we now know is Clark (Clark Barker, poor kid!)…are just at the vending machines, scarfing down junk food that Jack is magicking out of the machines. So basically stealing in a police department, no biggie. It’s Jack’s use of power that’s making the lights flicker. Suddenly, something is happening to Jack. He gets a sudden pain in his head and there’s some strange sounds happening. It’s not immediately clear if the sounds are just effects meant to indicate something going on in Jack’s head we can’t see, or if these noises are actually something Jack is hearing in his head. Jack starts staggering away, not really clear about what’s wrong or what he’s trying to do, so Sheriff Barker tries to stop him from leaving. Jack unthinkingly (it seems) reacts to her grabbing him by shoving her back with his power and she slams into the vending machine. Not good. Jack continues stumbling through the station, blowing out lights as he goes until he comes across Dean, who occupies his attention just long enough for Sam to come up behind Jack and taser him. Just then, Sheriff Barker rushes in to find Sam and Dean standing over an unconscious Jack and rightly has a few questions.

So Sam and Jack get locked up in a cell (together? After it looks like Sam tried to hurt Jack? And that super powered Jack may be angry about that when he wakes up? Maybe separate cells until you’re sure just what’s going on Sheriff Barker? She takes a handcuffed Dean into her office for questioning. (Yes please!) Dean doesn’t even try to lie his way out of this one and decides to just tell the truth. To her credit, the Sheriff takes the news pretty well. Dean’s face though when she asks if this makes him a superhero…there’s an almost smile that seems to disappear before it even appears as Dean’s “I Am Batman” side is briefly flattered and is happy to consider it, but then immediately realistic Dean takes over and the thought of what they’ve been through as hunters and what they’ve lost (and maybe how there are so many other hunters out there also going through crap and losing as much and more and it’s not just Sam and Dean saving the world) and just how much they have just lost and how they wouldn’t have had so much trouble, lost so many people if they actually were heroes…all of this flits across Dean’s face in a split second before he finally says “I’m just a guy doing a job.” It’s hard enough for some actors to accurately get their thoughts to show on their faces without either under- or over- doing it. For him to get that micro-expression in there is just…seriously, Jensen Ackles deserves all the awards, I cannot stress that enough.

Okay, back to the Sheriff. She wants to know just what Jack is and Dean explains he’s a nephilim and what that is. As he’s talking, we flash to Jack waking up in the cell and he’s waking up grumpy (me too!) so Sam has to talk fast in order to calm him down. Sam tells Jack he won’t hurt him and Jack is all “since you already hurt me, not sure I believe you.” Sam counters with how he was just trying to slow Jack down as he was a bit out of control at the time and so Jack has to explain how he was just scared at the time. So we’re getting a different picture of Jack so far than what we (and the boys) were expecting. Seems Cas may have been right that Jack wasn’t bound to be evil. Though, Jack does tell Sam that the reason he was frightened was because he was hearing loud, angry voices in his head, so who knows. At least Jack isn’t currently hearing voices or hurting people, so that’s a win. And then Jack apologizes! And that takes even Sam aback. Yep, Jack may be a possible good guy here. We finally get a (sort of) explanation of how Jack has grown up and how he can speak. Apparently , he was able to “be” Kelly and learn things from her and she told him he would have to grow up quickly in order to protect himself, so that’s what he did. Yet Jack still doesn’t know what “how high are you” means (though he seems to get other idioms and figures of speech, not buying that Kelly didn’t know what that meant.) He also didn’t know about things like water bottles and clothes and how to interact with people, even what people are if he thought the statue was his father. If he could pick up an entire language from Kelly’s mind and since he was able to see her function in the world, I’m not sure I’m buying this selective knowledge thing. Either he should know stuff, or he shouldn’t know stuff, pick one. Jack starts to get a little distressed at Sam’s questions about his power, so he says he needs to find his father, that he will protect Jack. Sam tries to warn him that Lucifer may not be the loving father kind of dad, but Jack’s like “who’s Lucifer? My dad’s name is Cas.” Ahh, so that’s who Jack has been looking for. Unfortunately, that means that Sam has to break the bad news to Jack that Castiel died. Jack doesn’t look happy at the news and we’re wondering if he’ll unintentionally lash out again.

Speaking of lashing out, Clark is pushing parental boundaries by sneaking out to have a smoke outside of the station when “I burned my roommate’s stuff” drunk girl shows up. Well, showing up for the third time’s the bad omen apparently. Sure enough she’s with the other two angels who were looking for Jack and who have already shown their tendency towards dickishness and you are the company you keep. Inside, Dean comes to tell Sam the Sheriff is going to let them go and Dean is all ready to get out of there and take Jack to a nice secluded killing ground, but Sam’s now team Jack, especially if they can use his power, especially especially if they can use his power to get Mary back. Dean’s a little curious about what exactly Sam is going on about, but before he can answer, there’s a disturbance and he investigates only to find drunk girl holding a knife on Clark. Now IMDB tells me drunk, burning things angel is actually named Miriam so for ease of use, I’m going to call her that, but I don’t recall them using the name in the show at all. I didn’t want you to wonder just who Miriam was. I’d rather call her Elsa since that Frozen poster gave her so much rage, but I’ll refrain.

So, Elsa (I’m so so weak) tells Sheriff Barker that she’ll let her son, Clark, go if only the Sheriff shoots Dean. Elsa compares Dean to her former roommate, Becky saying he’s annoying, he takes things and breaks things and pisses people off and does whatever he wants, no matter who it hurts and he needs to die. I mean, she’s the best kind of correct (technically) and everything (except for the part about how he needs to die) but that leaves a lot out of what Dean is as well and why he’s made the choices to take things or break things or do what he wants (or needs?) even if it hurts people. Elsa doesn’t seem to be much better. I mean, what is this angel’s damage? Like is this coming from her vessel’s past even though vessels are supposed to be righteous in order to be an angelic vessel or is there an angel named Becky that no one in heaven has seen in a while? Or is Becky and the Frozen poster and the burning of the belongings all just some elaborate story she’s concocted to…what? What purpose would a made up story like that even serve? She could have just made drunk small talk to Dean in the parking lot, she just needed to be close enough to eavesdrop. Then she could have confronted him directly at the police station without making up a Becky, so? No matter which of the three it is, Elsa isn’t coming off well here. More evidence for my Theory that angels are all dicks. (Minus Cas, who still started as kind of a dick before he was swayed then won over by team Free Will. And maybe Hannah who was also still kind of a dick at some points.) It was a hypothesis that angels are dicks, but I’ve amassed enough evidence now that it has become a Theory.

So we cut away before we find out if the Sheriff will actually shoot Dean to save her son and we check in on Sam and Jack who the Sheriff didn’t get a chance to let out of the cell before Elsa burst in, holding Clark hostage. Sam is wondering what’s going on and he soon gets an answer when the other two angels (Anna and Kristoff?) show up to grab Jack. Back with Elsa, we find that holding Clark hostage was just a ploy to buy time and keep Dean occupied until Anna and Kristoff could get to Jack. Since she no longer needs Clark, she stabs him and comes for Dean instead. Dayum Elsa, that was…cold! So other than the Sheriff and her son, everybody is kung fu fighting, though Jack is actually being incapacitated by what was affecting him before and we now know that he’s actually being bombarded by angel radio. The two angels with Sam almost get away with Jack until Sam sends them packing with the angel banishment blood spell. (So, I forgot about this and now my idea that they could have used the fact that Jack’s angel side may have been adversely affected by the angel banishment spell as a better explanation for why they didn’t use the spell in s13e09 doesn’t hold water any longer. And yet it is still a better explanation than the one we got.)

Back with Dean and Elsa, Dean has briefly gained the advantage and is holding Elsa with an angel blade to the throat. He learns from her that the angels want Jack because of his power. Apparently, he has the capacity to be able to do almost anything. Though Elsa is quick to point out that one of the things he can’t do is resurrect Castiel. She then manages to get away from Dean and head back to go after Jack. Sam was ready for her though, with one of the angel blades Anna or Kristoff dropped when they were banished. Realizing she won’t get what she came for, and thinking that if she can’t control Jack and his power, it would be better if no one else could either, Elsa stabs Jack IN THE HEART! A split-second later, Sam returns the favour and stabs Elsa in the heart. Elsa immediately does that glow-with-a-burst death that angels do when stabbed by an angel blade, but that just emphasizes the fact that so far, nothing has happened to Jack, even with an angel blade sticking out of his chest. Jack pulls the knife out and just keeps on ticking. Soooo I don’t think Dean ever had a chance at ending Jack, no matter what they used.

So they survived and Clark is loaded onto an ambulance and taken to the hospital with his Mom. See kids, sometimes it pays to actually work at your crappy fast food job while your co-worker is doing anything but working. Sometimes that slacking co-worker will end up stabbed in the gut by an angel with a weird grudge against Frozen. Jack is a bit sad about his new friend being hurt because of him and Sam starts to try talking Dean into taking Jack back with them to the bunker. It turns out though that he doesn’t have to try too hard as Dean is already on board with the plan. Of course, they both have very different ideas about why it’s best to bring Jack back to the bunker that I’m sure will be an issue later, but right now, the end result is the same.

Before the boys head to the bunker though, they first head back to the house where they started the episode so that they can give Cas and Kelly a proper hunter’s funeral. Sam isn’t sure they should “finalize” things with Cas just yet as maybe Chuck could still bring Cas back to life and he suggests they pray to him to see. Dean is like “been there, done that.” And that makes sense, we all know how Dean is when it comes to protecting family. So we get a flashback about where Dean went when he got out of the Impala when Sam was in the restaurant.

Turns out Dean went around back to the (washroom? employees only entrance? it’s labelled Buccaneers?) This is another callback to season one’s “Home” (1.09) when Dean slipped away at a gas station to the washroom around the side so he could secretly reach out to his father. Here again, an overwhelmed Dean is using an excuse to separate himself from Sam so that he can get somewhere private in order to reach out to his “Father.” In season one, Dean was dealing with Sam having inexplicable (and true) visions about the future that were scaring the hell out of him, while John was missing and they were searching for him and now weird stuff was happening in their childhood home, the place where their Mom died, the place to which Dean vowed he would never return.  And yet here he was and possibly about to face the thing that killed his Mom and he just wasn’t sure he was built to handle all of that. (Yet he did handle it, and so much more, poor guy.) Season 13 Dean has bigger problems. He has lost Crowley (yeah, even he got named in this, d’awww!)  and Cas and his Mom has been pulled into another universe that Dean can’t currently get to in order to save her…again…and on top of that, the son of Lucifer (who he is sure is bent on world destruction that it’s Dean’s responsibility to somehow stop) is on the loose and could be anywhere. So this time Dean has to appeal to a more powerful “Father.”

Both of Dean’s pleadings or prayers to his fathers are rather heartbreaking. Both times you see Dean so overwhelmed that he has to ask for help, which is something we very rarely see Dean do. It’s very difficult for him to admit that he needs help and can’t do it on his own, so it’s hard to see Dean so desperate that he gets to that point of needing to ask for assistance. The tone of his prayers is different at first. In season one, Dean’s appeal to John was more plaintive and begging. A child who is in over his head and needs his Dad. You felt like he really had no idea just what to do and how to handle everything and even worse, had no idea how to take care of Sammy, something he’d been doing almost without thought his whole life. You could sense just what it would mean to someone like Dean to admit weakness to a father like John and how desperate he must be to be driven to this point. It was the first point in the show we really saw Dean as not confident and strong and in control and that really brought home the enormity of what they were dealing with in this episode. In season 13, Dean is done with the begging child he was in season one. He’s now in full-on rage mode here, which is where he always seems to live now when things are bad. He’s angry and antagonistic and aggressive, which makes sense because Dean is older now, with a whole history of loss and sacrifice and suffering, partly in service of God’s plan, behind him, colouring how he will react to this moment. He’s also always had a much more adversarial relationship with “God” (before and after he knew about his existence and before and after he found out who God was) than he did with John. His relationship with John was more drill sergeant crossed with hero-worship. He has always been John’s subordinate so it makes sense he would approach John in a more submissive way. On the other hand, Dean has always tried to control his relationship with God. From insisting for years that there was no chance of his existence, to then trying to force God to work for Team Free Will on Dean’s terms, searching him out and trying to force him into the open. He was repeatedly denied what he wanted which only made him angrier at God. And to be fair, I think Dean has a lot of reasons to be righteously angry with God. So of course he confronts Chuck rather than approaching from a place of submission by begging. How dare he have to ask for help when Chuck said everything would be okay. Chuck better get his ass down here and make everything okay like he promised it would be. He better even bring Crowley back, that’s how bad he’s screwed this up, Dean’s gonna punish him by making him bring the King of Hell back now too. I mean, God promised it would be okay, but everything isn’t okay anymore and how dare he make that promise and not keep it. He promised it would be okay, so why isn’t it okay? Nothing is okay so please come and make it okay. Please come and keep your promise and make everything okay again, please, you promised. That’s the journey Dean goes through this time in his prayer and though there is more anger in this prayer, though Dean takes a more combative stance with God than with John, underneath there is still that sense of pleading. What Dean demands of God isn’t much different from what he asks of John; that he show up and help him because it’s too big and too much for Dean to handle on his own. After Dean is able to “release” his anger on that poor Buccaneers sign, Dean is finally able to approach God the way it is said you need to, with true humility. So in the end,  when that one please leaves Dean’s lips like it was physically pulled from them, man, it’s a pretty powerful moment. And again Jensen Ackles just hit both of these scenes out of the park. Now, we know that in the first season, it seemed like John didn’t answer Dean’s prayer, that he left him alone to deal with all of these burdens on his own. But then we find out that John did come, that he couldn’t show himself for some very good reasons (keeping them all safe) but he took the risk of coming so that he could make sure to be there if Dean really and truly could not handle it on his own and needed John’s help. So, is God listening? Will he answer Dean’s prayer? Will he leave Dean to deal with this world on his own like he said he was going to at the end of season 11? If he does answer Dean’s prayer, will it be some big intervention at a later time when Dean needs it most? Or will it be more like what happened with John, that God will be there, working behind the scenes like he did in seasons 4 and 5 and making sure Dean has what he needs to handle every problem that comes along, yet all without Dean knowing he’s even there? I think I’ll put my money on the latter. (Spoilers ahead: Especially with how things have been working out so far this season. Things have happened or are in motion to help Dean get exactly what he asked for {I even have hope for Crowley still too!} and I have this image in my head of Chuck and maybe even Amara just giving nudges to all of the pieces on the chessboard so that the boys find every piece they need as they need it, much like how things worked in “Baby” (11.04). Okay, maybe I’m not always cynical. Now pass that half-full glass over my way.

Okay, flashback over, Dean tell Sam that he has already reached out to Chuck and help was not forthcoming and it’s time to let Cas go. So they go in and Jack gets his moment to say goodbye to his mother and Dean gets a moment with Cas. Spoilers again: I wish this moment had a bit more weight for me than it did, but by this time most everyone knew that Misha Collins was still signed on to the show and Jared Padalecki had basically spoiled everyone by tweet as well. So, I knew Cas would be back some way, some how (and likely sooner rather than later) so this moment wasn’t quite as poignant as it could have been. This is why I hate spoilers!

So before they light the funeral pyre, Jack asks what they’re supposed to do and Sam explains and Dean shows by example. When making the goodbyes though, Dean adds Mary’s name to the list. Sam is a bit taken aback since for all they know, Mary is still alive in that other universe. Dean however doesn’t think so and he makes a very compelling case for why a pissed off and frustrated Lucifer would likely have taken those frustrations out on the first target that presented itself. And that target would have been Mary. They light the pyre and stand witness to the passing of their family members.

Whew, that would have been more than enough for one episode, but we check in on the other universe, where it seems Mary broke and ran away from Lucifer as soon as they were through the portal and on the other side. Unfortunately, Lucifer easily catches her and it looks like Dean is going to be right about Mary’s fate. But Lucifer surprises Mary (and maybe us) by keeping her alive instead, saying he may need her for what’s to come. This is also a bit of a season one callback. As I pointed out in the beginning of this episode, this season started like season one did, with a flashback to Mary’s “death.’ In season one it was her actual first death at the hands of Azazel and in this season it was a more metaphorical death of passing through the portal to the other universe where we have no way of knowing if she survives or not. (There’s a not insignificant part of me that wants to get into a bit of an essay right now about doorways and liminal space and its meanings and how that symbolism is used in this scene, but I’ll spare you my nerdier side.) Now in season one, Mary’s death at the beginning is mirrored at the end of the episode with Jessica’s identical mode of death. In this episode, Mary’s “death” at the beginning is “mirrored” with Mary’s “death” at the hands of Lucifer this time, almost impaling her. First time was two different people, same mode of death, this one is same person, different modes of death. Here’s where these season one callbacks may start to play on our expectations a bit. At the end of that season one episode, Jessica’s death is quite real, so when we see this same setup in this episode, that expectation that Mary’s death at the end will also be real is ramped up a bit because we’ve seen this before, so there’s more of an expectation that it will follow a familiar pattern. Maybe that’s part of what these callbacks are here for this year, maybe not, it is still too early to say if these are even more than coincidence or not. Hopefully we’ll start to get some more answers that we can piece together starting January 18th.

Now, to be quite honest, we needed to know what Lucifer is up to over in the other universe and how things evolve to end up with his return to our world. In my eyes, all of that could have been done without involving Mary in any way. Even if you absolutely had to show her surviving the immediate aftermath of the trip through the portal, this ending might have been stronger if we don’t know Lucifer saves her at the last minute here. Then we could go through thinking Mary is dead until that moment in s13e09 where Jack touches Sam and Dean and shows them that he has seen Mary alive in the other world. That makes this episode stronger and makes that reveal in e09 stronger too as we’ll be more in Dean’s headspace, having thought Mary was dead and only now finding out that she isn’t. Not that there’s anything really bad about how it was done here, I just think those choices could have tightened up the story that little bit more.

So, there was a lot of lashing out in anger, annoyance and fear and loss this episode. Jack lashes out, Elsa lashes out and tells a whole elaborate story about lashing out, Lucifer lashes out and of course Dean lashes out as well. Now, there really wasn’t any commentary about this in the show, nothing to say that this way doesn’t work or isn’t healthy or will actually hinder you in getting what you want, etc. It was shown to sometimes work, sometimes not. Sometimes it hurt the wrong people, but sometimes it hurt the right ones too. There was no real rhyme or reason to it and so I wouldn’t really call it a theme of the episode. However, it was also very prevalent, commentary or no, and happened enough to take note of, even if we can’t call it a theme. It’s been a while since I saw s13e02 so I can’t remember if maybe this is carried over more in the next episode, but it does seem to be a recurring motif this season as well, this acting out without thought from a place of fear or anger or hurt or loss. I’m going to keep a closer eye on this one from now on, see if there’s any rhyme or reason to these outbursts, try to see if there’s a larger message there somewhere. But for now, that’s about all I’ve got for this episode. I do want to leave you with one thing. The scene where Dean snuck off to pray to Chuck was the first thing this season that triggered an immediate memory for me of a moment in season one and it wasn’t even the language in the speech so much that did it, it was the visual. So with that in mind, here are two shots, the first from “Home” (1.09) where Dean is calling John, the second from this episode, where Dean is “calling” Chuck. What do you think? Similar or not? Similar on purpose or just a coincidence? I’ll see you on the other side with your questions for this week’s discussion.

Dean calls his Dad

Dean calls Chuck

The Road Ahead:

  • How was your holiday season? Did you have a good one?
  • Are you ready for the New Year? Are you celebrating or having a quiet night in?
  • Will 2018 be better, worse or the same as the two previous years?
  • Is the glass half empty, half full or just alcohol begging to be imbibed?
  • What do you think of the season one callbacks in this or any of the other episodes this season? Is it a thing or just coincidence?
  •  What about all the people lashing out from a place of hurt or anger or fear, does that mean anything or is that just the nature of the problems they’re facing?
  • Did Elsa really have a roommate Becky or is Becky a construct? If you think Becky’s real, was she the vessel’s roommate or is heaven missing an angel?
  • Are any of you still bitter about that time Sam chose a dog over his brother? Cause I’m not, not at all, why do you even ask that?
  • Will someone be able to fulfill my wish for a Supernatural book cover of “Are You My Father”? (Please, please, please, please, please!)
  • Does it pay to work hard at your fast food job or is it not worth the effort and it’s fine to slack off. Or can you only slack off if your Mom is dating the boss?
  • Will Chuck answer Dean’s prayer or leave him hanging? If he does answer Dean’s prayer, what will that look like?

Okay party people, I’m done. I’m sorry this will be up late again, holidays are wreaking havoc with my schedule. I’ll be better again in the New Year, promise. Stay safe out there if you’re celebrating tomorrow and have a great New Year’s Eve everyone! Until next time, be good to each other! XO