The victory lap continues on Supernatural, which brought back Rowena and Ketch this week to help Sam and Dean fight Hell’s unleashed ghosts. That’s not very surprising, given the fact that those two characters are at least alive at the moment (despite the usual caveat that yes, of course they’ve both died before). The real surprise was the return of another familiar face: dead prophet Kevin Tran! And not the Apocalypse World version of Kevin either, but the original Kevin — who was released from Hell alongside all those very bad souls. The thing is, he was never supposed to be in Hell in the first place. So what happened?
Here’s the deal: After Kevin died, he was stuck wandering around the world as a lost soul, initially haunting the Bunker before heading off for some family time with his mom. Then in Season 11, when the boys were trying to take down The Darkness (Chuck’s sister Amara), Chuck used Kevin as a character witness to convince Sam and Dean to trust him — then he claimed that Kevin has been trapped on Earth long enough and released his soul to Heaven. Or at least that’s what Sam and Dean thought happened. Kevin’s ghost reveals that Chuck actually damned him to Hell, but because he was sent there by God himself, Kevin ended up with a bit of a bad boy reputation down under, and has some amount of influence on the other actually-evil souls. It’s seems like he’ll be a great ally for the Winchesters as they continue trying to contain the hellmouth in Harlan, Kansas — except that the current evil ringleader of the ghosts doesn’t buy into Kevin’s rep and isn’t intimidated in the slightest.
I’m referring, of course, to the ghost of Jack the Ripper, a.k.a. Francis Tumblety, a.k.a. Rowena’s ex-boy toy (a fact that is revealed as an adorable little aside between the formerly evil immortal witch and the still evil undead serial killer). Jack pretty quickly realizes that Kevin is probably back to helping the hunters, and uses him as leverage to try and get the Winchesters to take down the barrier spell. It doesn’t work, because Rowena and Ketch have whipped up a magical soul-bomb crystal that sucks in nearby spirits like a magnet, but that’s only a stop-gap. By the end of the episode, the Winchesters are still facing a rift that continues to release evil souls while their barrier spell is running out of juice, and Kevin has decided that he’d rather be a lost soul on Earth than a tortured soul in Hell so he heads off on a walkabout. Ultimately, the status quo hasn’t really changed in Harlan, but it didn’t need to — because the real interesting stuff was happening over in the B plot, where Chuck was meeting with his sister.
Yup, Chuck hasn’t left the world behind after all. He can’t, because he doesn’t have the power to anymore. The bullet wound he got when Sam shot him with the special God-gun is still lingering (and connecting him to Sam, which is why neither of them are healing). Chuck goes to his sister, hoping she’ll team up with him to leave and start a new world somewhere, but apparently yoga has been good for Amara because she’s not interested in running away. She’s changed. And in the celestial sibling-version of a break-up convo, she basically tells Chuck that while they’ll always be connected, she doesn’t want to be together together with him anymore. Just like he left her trapped for millennia, she’s going to walk away and leave him trapped as well — stuck on this world with a couple of existentially pissed off Winchesters.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Amara winds up helping Sam and Dean at some point this season, given her former connection with Dean and her obvious distaste for Chuck. And I’m certain that Kevin won’t be the last familiar face we see this season, given that he popped up in the second episode. Who else has been in Hell all this time? (coughcough Adam, the other brother cough) Speaking of Hell, Ketch reveals that he was hired by a demon to kill Belphegor, who is supposedly very dangerous. The Winchesters still need Belphegor’s help, and there’s really no reason to trust one demon’s word over another, but there is clearly more going on with this guy than he claims. For now, though, he’s a very amusing addition to the show, and it’s clear that actor Alexander Calvert is having a blast playing him — at least until Jack comes back from The Empty.
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