'Supernatural' Recap: No Rest For The Self-Destructive
Get your salt and holy water ready, because GUESS WHAT?!
That’s right, Supernatural will be returning for a 15th season, because the show — just like the characters — can’t die. Honestly, I took the eventuality of another season as a foregone conclusion. It’s cute that they even bother announcing it, really. But if it sets your soul at ease, then be easy friends. The Winchesters ain’t going anywhere.
That said, this week was some serious Winchester wheel-spinning, ahead of next week’s Big Damn 300th episode. The promos were a total fake-out, and Dean doesn’t actually get locked in his special Michael-keepin’ box just yet (there is a scene that makes it look like he has, but it’s a nightmare). Instead, Sam and Dean take some time out from their busy “Let me go, Sammy/Why’re you giving up, Dean?” schedule to work a very odd case. A couple of dead bodies turn up, covered in “graffiti” — which Sam recognizes as Enochian text for “I am The Word.” After speaking with the brother of one of the victims and asking him if he knew any crazy bible-thumpers, they find a likely suspect: Tony Alvarez, a name Castiel recognizes as the next prophet in line after the current one, Donatello.
Oh yeah, that’s right, I forgot about him! Donatello was the fried chicken-loving prophet who lost his soul to The Darkness, then was controlled by the demon prince Asmodeus last season. Eventually Cas ended up having to dig information out of Donatello’s brain, which left him brain dead and on life support. Which is where he remains, hovering between life and death and screwing with the natural order of prophets, apparently. Turns out Tony Alvarez has been semi-activated as a prophet, but with some wires crossed because Donatello isn’t really dead yet. So Tony thinks he hears the voice of God, telling him to enact some biblical retribution on people (first born sons, drowning in seawater, fire, etc.), but in fact he’s just pick up on Donatello’s stray vibes (more on that in a bit). When Sam and Dean confront Tony and tell him he’s not hearing the true voice of God at all, and is in fact just murdering innocent people, Tony kills himself. But that’s not the end of the case, really — since whomever is next in line for prophet after Tony is likely going to turn out the same way. The root of the problem is Donatello, and he needs to be dealt with.
Sam and Dean having to decide whether or not to pull the plug on their former colleague is an obvious but effective parallel to Dean’s whole Michael situation. At what point do you give up hope? At what point do you stop waiting for a miracle, and start letting go? When they arrive at the hospital where Donatello is being kept, they discover Cas already masquerading as a doctor there, and together they learn that Donatello doesn’t seem to be recovering. He exhibits reflexive movements, and random babbling, but none of it seems to hint at real cognition. Except that the “babbling” is in fact more Enochian, and it seems as though Donatello’s brain is trying to unscramble itself, picking up pieces of biblical text and putting it all into order again. And THAT is what Tony was hearing — not the voice of God, but the word of God, being pieced together in Donatello’s subconscious. Cas realizes that there might be enough of Donatello left for him to save, and puts his angel healing-glow to work reviving him. Which works, and Donatello wakes up! I mean, he’s still soulless, but he’s also still hungry for fried chicken so he’s barely worse off than he was beforehand.
Dean takes this as a solid win, and an appropriate high note for him to depart on. Which sets Sammy off on a rant about how they save the world, they don’t check out of it, so why is Dean quitting? Why is he making Sam help him confine himself to a fate worse than death — since Michael can likely keep Dean alive forever in that box. What if, just like with Donatello, a solution to Dean’s problem eventually presents itself as well? Just because there’s no alternative plan today, it doesn’t mean there won’t be one tomorrow.
And then Sam lands this emotional gut-punch right here:
“I believe in us. Why don’t you believe in us too?”
Before literally punching Dean in the face:
(It’s cool, they hug it out)
In the end, Dean agrees to go home with Sam and wait on his whole box plan, because he does believe in them. But he also makes Sam promise to let him go when the time comes, since there’s still no guarantee they’ll find a better fix for the situation. Sam tearfully agrees, but like, c’mon now — this show is built almost entirely on neither of them being able to let go of the other! Dean should know better than to even ask. So basically, they wound up right where they started, and next week Jeffrey Dean Morgan is gonna show up for the 300th episode because of some timeline fuckery and I DON’T EVEN KNOW ANYMORE.
Then there’s the B-plot, which was Nick escaping from police custody for… reasons, and I just don’t care. I mean, I get that this is all a slow burn, building up to Lucifer’s return, but he could just return! That’d be fine! We already know he’s awake in the Empty or whatever, and it’s just a matter of time! But no, we gotta sit through more Nick nonsense. First he beats up a cop and gets out of the hospital. Then goes back to his former home, only to find it haunted by the ghost of his dead wife (which I guess he didn’t run into the last time he was there?). She’s stuck because of unfinished business, like every other ghost, but Nick’s like “Naw babe, I killed the human AND the demon that killed you, so you should be squared away.” And that’s when she tells him that her murder isn’t the problem — it’s him. Before she died, she saw Nick accept Lucifer into himself, and she’ll only be freed if Nick rejects Lucifer here and now. But he can’t, because he thinks being Lucifer’s chosen one is all that makes him special or something. So he cries and leaves the ghost of his dead wife to haunt the mortal plane, while he goes off to track down his special devil friend again.
Look, I’ll pray to Lucifer myself if it’ll speed this storyline along.
— OF COURSE DEAN HADN’T TOLD CAS AND JACK ABOUT HIS BOX PLAN. OF F*CKING COURSE.
— OF COURSE SAM WENT BEHIND DEAN’S BACK AND TOLD CAS ANYWAY. OF F*CKING COURSE HE DID. These two and their pointless secrets, I tell ya.
— Dean repeatedly saying that the box is the only solution, and he’d tried EVERYTHING ELSE, rang kind of hollow. Because, like, he didn’t try anything else really? He got a plan from Billie and was like “Cool beans, I’ll do this.” I mean, I’m not saying she’s lying. I’m just saying he didn’t actually TRY.
— Cas clearly could have saved Donatello at any point before now. I just feel like we all should acknowledge that.
— I still miss the hell out of Kevin Tran. That’s a wound that’ll never heal.
— I’m going to be out of town next week, and I’ll miss the 300th episode. So please, enjoy it on my behalf and know that I’m crazy jealous of all of you. My life decisions are THE WORST.
Header Image Source: The CW
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