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Supernatural: “Atomic Monsters” Review

(L-R): Jensen Ackles as Dean and Jared Padalecki as Sam -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Jensen Ackles has dressed up as both Batman and Robin (Red Hood respectively), and since he’s directing this episode, he’s decided to play John Wick via Dean Winchester. He also did the fans a solid by giving us two of the loose ends we’ve been chomping at the bit for. One is Sam’s demon blood – which was hinted at in the premiere and was falsely (my bad) guessed to be Lucifer possessed Sam. The other is more of a nod – Benny! Yes, Ty Olsson flew in special just to make an appearance. Both tidbits are care of a dream (or vision?) Sam Winchester has that opens this episode.

Besides this ominous portent, there’s one other piece of information worth noting in this episode (which otherwise largely follows the standard “monster-of-the-week” format), Becky is back! Well, kind of. If we’re going for a more biblical tone this season the appearance of Becky is very curious.

Becky was the fangirl of all fangirls (she still seems to retain a degree of this) even going so far as to use black magic to enchant Sam into loving her. Becky would be, in my opinion, the closest thing we have to Jesus on this show. Wait, stay with me here. No, not the literal interpretation of Jesus, that has weirdly enough never been depicted on the show (mentioned at most, but never seen). Instead, Becky is Jesus in a kind of spiritual successor way. How you ask?

See, God i.e. Check – creates the world (in this case the actual world but more specifically: Supernatural). In creating this world he gives birth to hundreds of thousands of fanboys and girls. Becky would be Jesus in the sense that, she’s the version of God that’s on the ground, among the people. She loves what he loves – in this case Supernatural and Sam and Dean, but she’s not above them. She’s human (and yeah, I know, there’s a disagreement between whether Jesus is God, or is just a man but for the sake of this metaphor Becky will be more of the Jewish version of Jesus), but she organizes his followers, even orchestrates the first Supernatural Convention. Later, when they break up (again, noted: them dating would of course be a dent in the Becky = Jesus literally angle), Becky still spreads the good word. The biggest give away for me is the idea that Becky exists among the people, she’s the one who, once the books stop, begins to write fanfiction that is much closer to what fans actually want from the series (sure, monsters are great, but wouldn’t you rather have the boys sit around and talk while doing mundane things???), and she creates maquettes. What’s more religious than miniature recreations of meaningful scenes!? Yes, I think Becky is the closest thing we’ll get to Jesus on this show (and yes, I know, Jack is more likely the “Jesus” of Supernatural), but in case that’s not enough for you, she has a much more important role for this particular episode.

Becky is the one who gets Chuck out of his funk and reconnects him to the thing he loves: writing. She reads his first draft and, after being too forgiving, provides some real constructive criticism which pushes Chuck to write a much darker ending. He also proves he’s still a grade A asshole by Thanosing Becky and her family once she’s done being useful to him, but I’m burying the lead here: Chuck is writing the end of the show…on the final season of Supernatural.

I’ve given this show a lot of shit for having gone on for fifteen seasons because it’s a lot. Way too much. But, the things it’s always done really well are humor, tone, and fanservice. This show knows what it is, it’s a show that’s ending and is having its fictional creator end the show! I can’t help but really give it up to the writers for this one. Yes, it’s a fairly obvious move to make, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good one. Ever since Season 6’s “The French Mistake” Supernatural has shown a great ability to read the room and make intelligent jokes at its own expense (yes, “The Monster at the End of This Book” started it, but French Mistake takes it to the Nth degree). This might be the reverse of that course. Instead of having fun at its expense, it’s going to mine the 4th wall for dramatic gold. I am in, 100%.

Additional thoughts regarding this episode:

I was a little confused if the cheerleader/high school angle was making fun of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Riverdale. Or maybe just high school media representations in general.

The sad ending of the vampire volunteering himself to be killed in order to save his friends and loved ones is nice, and it allows Sam and Dean to have an important conversation. Sam is still holding onto a lot of pain, while Dean believes channeling his pain into their work gives it meaning. It’s the reason he forces Sam to go on this hunt, but unfortunately after everything, he doesn’t sound very convinced their mission still matters – that the little wins still make up for the big losses. Nice to hear Jessica’s name mentioned again too, though when a show ends there’s a tendency to reference the past (and with a show as long in the tooth as Supernatural it’s even more expected).

Finally: still no word on Jack – who was last scene being confronted by Death Billie in the Empty, or Castiel, though he did just leave the boys in the previous episode so maybe the next one will touch on him.

 

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