The good news is that this week, Supernatural decided to tie up some loose ends. The episode picked up right where the last one ended, with Dean reeling from… whatever it was that his death book said he needed to do to stop Michael once and for all. Mostly his reaction involves a lot of hugging (which immediately puts Sam on DEFCON 2), and a not-at-all-suspicious plan to go see Momma Mary at her love cabin for some bonding. And no, Sam, you’re NOT INVITED (which notches Sam up to DEFCON 1).
But the episode also picks up the long-dangling thread of former Lucifer vessel, Nick, and his weird revengey murder spree. He tortures a demon for information on Abraxas, the demon that killed his family. And it turns out that Abraxas had a run-in with a familiar hunter: Mary Winchester. So that puts Nick on the path to Minnesota, where he’s totally gonna cut into Dean’s family time.
And not that this is really a loose thread, but hey, I’ll take it: Donna’s back! It’s her family’s cabin that Mary’s been holed up in, so Dean grabs a juicy burger with her while he’s on the way to see his mom. They even chat about Jody and the girls, because we’re at the point where “Wayward Sisters” is just a thing that gets referenced occasionally in passing — which is still more attention than that third Winchester brother gets, heyo! And then later Donna pulls Nick over in his stolen van, and yes — I totally thought he might kill her. He’s been doing that a lot lately! But luckily he just stuns her, then uses her phone to find Mary’s address. So I don’t have to rage-quit this show.
Back to the cabin! Dean is busy bonding with Mary about their terrible cooking, while Mary is busy surreptitiously calling Sam to be like, “Yeah Dean’s totally being weird, I’m gonna see what’s up.” But Dean clearly has an agenda beyond all that touchy-feely emotional stuff, and it involves… crafting? Or at least holing himself up in Donna’s she-shed and building something occult-ish when Mary’s out buying groceries. So Mary — despite having been dead for most of Dean’s life — uses her fine-tuned tingly mom-senses to figure out what Dean’s been hiding. She sneaks out of the house while he’s snoring on her pull-out sofa, heads to the barn, and sees… something. The show really makes you wait for the reveal of Dean’s Big Damn DIY project.
And then Nick grabs her.
Donna comes to and calls Mary to warn her about Nick, but Dean wakes up and answers. Then he goes on the prowl to find his mom… and almost shoots Sam. Who — OF COURSE — drove up without telling anybody, because he was worried and also just never f*cking listens. SAMMY!
It all leads to a big showdown at a storage unit outside Grand Rapids, because Supernatural only takes us to the finest places. Nick and Mary head there because that’s where she’s been storing Abraxas. Turns out she didn’t kill the demon, because he was too strong. So she locked him into an Enochian puzzle box and stuck him in storage, which is right where Nick finds him — then releases him to possess the storage attendant so they can have a chat face-to-face.
Donna is able to track Nick’s stolen van to the storage unit, so Sam and Dean head there to meet her — giving Dean just enough time to lecture Sam about how some people are past the point of being saved. The context is that Sam should have, I dunno, abandoned Nick, who clearly was more fucked up by his Lucifer possession than anyone realized. But the subtext is clear: Sam, you’re probably gonna have to walk away from Dean too, because there’s no fixing this Michael situation. Cool pep talk, Dean.
Nick finally gets his chance to ask why Abraxas killed his family, but Abraxas refuses to answer until Nick kills Mary for him (he’s still salty about being locked in a box). And just when it looks like Nick is gonna go through with it, Sam, Dean, and Donna arrive to save her. So Nick unleashes Abraxas on them, only for Abraxas to answer his original question: He killed Nick’s family because he was ordered to. By Lucifer.
This is not a surprise to any viewer who has paid attention, but it does come as a shock to Nick to realize just how thoroughly he was set up and used by Lucifer. You know, the Devil. FFS Nick, really? Anyway, he kills Abraxas, then Donna and Mary take Nick down and save the day.
And finally — FINALLY — we get the big reveal on what Dean’s been working on: A box. A big ol’ metal coffin, warded to prevent anything — even archangels — from escaping. Essentially he’s building a new Michael cage, but on Earth, and Dean’s the one who will have to go inside. He finally tells Sam everything: that he can’t hold Michael in his brain forever, and that Billie told him this was the only way to ensure Michael doesn’t destroy the world, and that he’s planning to get dropped in the middle of the ocean where no one will find him. Yup — once again, the solution is personal sacrifice.
The reason he’s been avoiding Sam is because his brother is the one person in the world that could talk him out of it. So Sam finally agrees to help with the plan… but this is not an “I’m OK with this” face:
— Nick ends up in police custody, and… is that the end of Mark Pellegrino’s time on this show? Because look, I love and respect Supernatural’s commitment to keeping their cast coming back against all logic, but let’s be honest: Nick sucked. His storyline was terrible and exhausting, and I’m glad it’s over. But if he did wake up Lucifer with his prayers, then I’m holding out hope that we will eventually see the return of Pellegrino-as-Lucifer, the way things should be.
— The biggest suspension of disbelief? That Dean could build that entire damn box just in the time it took Mary to run to the store for Hamburger Helper.
— Based on the promo for next week, it looks like Dean will be going into the box. And the week after is the big 300th episode with Jeffrey Dean Morgan! So… is John Winchester’s return going to be some weird box-hallucination Dean has?
Header Image Source: The CW