Tonight’s Supernatural finally gives us the main plot for their last season: God vs. The Winchesters – Part deux! Alright, to be fair…the first round was Sam and Dean and Castiel and God vs. The Darkness, but this is more or less the same thing. Only differences are the lack of Castiel (for now, we all know our favorite angel isn’t staying gone long), and God is at much less power than The Darkness was.
I am in no way surprised, given that that was basically the inevitable conclusion set up from the Season 14 finale, the show just took it’s time getting there (but not too much time since this season is only 20 episodes). I do find it kind of weirdly interesting that the layout of these first five episodes feels extremely well planned.
What do I mean? Consider the first five seasons of the show.
Seasons 1-3 do a good job of setting up the basic premise, introducing some mythology, and end on an interesting cliffhanger – Dean going to Hell.
Seasons 4 and 5 are the core of the series, they solidify the main mythology, introduce characters which will be around for a long time, and also end on a hell of a cliffhanger – Sam going to Hell (via the cage).
Now, take the first 3 episodes of this season: They were, mostly, pointless. They are designed to deal with the cliffhanger left by the Season 14 finale – Sam, Dean, and Castiel under attack after God opens the gates of Hell. This storyline is dealt with by the end of these first three episodes, with a few significant deaths and a little tease of significant info.
Episodes 4 and 5, however, are extremely important. Despite their largely rote monster subplots, their actual subplots are vital in setting up the final season. Episode 4 gives us the revitalization of Chuck – his ultimate return and the reveal that he is ready to END his story (er…well, Sam and Dean’s anyhow). Episode 5 then ups the ante by making this information known to the boys. Sam and Dean’s mission is finally clear: kill God.
My curiosity then is if the execution of the rest of this Season (a conveniently numbered 15 episodes) will be as exquisitely divine (pun of course!). I certainly hope so.
Anyway, postulating aside, let’s dig into this delicious meal that is “Proverbs 17:3”. Quick recap: Sam and Dean learn about a series of “animal” attack the body-count having risen to 5 now (hmm…5 victims, episode 5…), and naturally head out to investigate. Sam is still having disturbing dreams about killing Dean – this time he’s most definitely Lucifer possessed Sam, but we’ll get back to that. Things play out boring at first, the culprits are two werewolf brothers who inevitably wind up as a murder-suicide. Ah, a very unsubtle nod to the supposed fate of the Winchesters.
But, this episode really gets going when the victim turns out to be none other than Lilith (this time played by Anna Grace Barlow)! Gotta say, I didn’t see the twist coming but it was sooooo satisfying, especially since Lilith kicked ass! Like, MAJOR ass-kickage. Like, no joke, bitch did not pull her punches this time. And that was indescribably gratifying – sure, Sam had the demon blood going for him, but she was the FIRST DEMON EVER, was she really beaten by someone like Sam??? Nope! She let him kill her. It was a necessary sacrifice to release Lucifer. But, not this time! So, how exactly is she back?
Ah, that’s the other great twist in this episode – though for anyone who watched the last one, it’s not much of a surprise – Chuck is writing again. He resurrected Lilith in order to get the Equalizer (my guess would be so the boys can’t kill him?) knowing she wouldn’t have any trouble handling Sam and Dean. Our girl does her job, destroying the gun in the process, and then disappears. Which leaves us with a shaken pair of brothers who finally realize their freedom doesn’t actually exist. This also provides us with the last piece of the puzzle – the answer to Sam’s visions/dreams.
Fans have no doubt been going nuts trying to figure out the meaning of Sam’s subconscious scenes, well, think no more loyal viewers: Sam’s “bullet” wound and God’s “bullet” wound are joined by the powers vested in tropes by the need of storytelling in a way that allows Sam to “see” Chuck’s many potential endings. This could be the Deus Ex Machina that allows the boys to kill God. I’m personally hoping not, but we’ll see.
I would find it a much more intriguing road if the boys came to the conclusion that ignoring God is really the key to defeating him. After all, we know for a fact that deities get most of their power from their believers (see: “Hammer of the Gods”). Without followers, deities become killable – hell, even with powers the deities in Supernatural are not invulnerable, but it’s easier to kill a god with less juice.
Sure, it’s fun to have guns and divine weapons, demons and angels, but if this series decided to step up and take a risk for the final outing, I’d be damned impressed. Introducing philosophical ideas would be totally new territory, especially since in the past they’ve been largely blown off (take Donatello, the atheist cum prophet, who’s disproven life belief is handled in a joke then never spoken of again). But, the way that God gains power in this series has been hinted at as being paid attention to. Remember that when he turns his back on the Winchesters, it hurts him. To hurt his believers hurts him. When Amara leaves him, he’s weakened and lonely, which leads to him seeking out the only other person who might restore a bit of his power: Becky. One of his most devoted and loyal followers. And lo and behold…she does!
What will Chuck’s final ending be for the boys? It seemed as if Becky got to read it in “Atomic Monsters” but maybe not? Maybe Chuck can’t help himself, he’s always tweaking things. Or maybe…and this would be a phenomenal twist: It’s not Chuck at all!
Fan wikis will remind us that according to the primordial being that rules The Empty – God has no power in that realm. If that’s so…then Lilith’s being back is one of two things: 1. It’s not the original Lilith (is it so hard to believe God couldn’t just create a brand-new Lilith). Or, 2. It’s all part of Death Billie’s plan to resurrect Jack. Or who knows, maybe the Shadow of the Empty is fucking with the boys for sticking it with another being that didn’t stay asleep (you may recall it was none too happy about Castiel waking up).
Oooo…I’m highly curious!