The penultimate episode of our long running series starts off slow but picks up quickly!
At first we’re looking at an abandoned Earth filled with just Sam, Dean, and Jack. The boys are understandably upset so much so that they attempt to surrender to God in an effort to bring everyone back. Naturally, God being the petty dick he is, would rather watch Sam and Dean suffer alone on an empty planet forced to live with the consequences of their pride until their deaths (gotta hand it to him, that’s a damn fine use of passive aggression). Even when Dean finds a dog – on the trail of a presence Jack sensed – God shows up to dust the poor pooch away. “You get nothing!” Willy Wonka would be proud.
That presence I mentioned? It was Michael. He’s fully formed – sorry Adam but you’re out! He’s willing to help the boys in destroying God, but he can’t open Death’s book. You know who can? The new Death (H & G not ugly Betty, played by Kimberley Sustad)! She shows up thanks to Lucifer, who gains entry into the bunker by pretending to be Cass, and claims to have been sent by the Empty to assist in the God killing. It’s a genuinely surprising moment given that the actor who plays Michael has a credit in the beginning, so we knew he was coming (or at the very least Adam, but Michael was the better bet), but there was no such spoiler for Lucifer!
Anyway, Lucifer, as always, is a turncoat and just wanted to get the book for daddy. Michael winds up finally killing his brother as was always supposed to be the case, but he too betrays the Winchesters for Chuck’s approval. This culminates in a fantastic beat-down care of the Divine Father. I mean, honestly, isn’t this what God’s been wanting to do to these two since the beginning of this season?
Allow me a brief aside to say that God’s use of people’s love for him and need for his love is spectacular. Seriously, this dude treated his children like shit, and yet both of them – even the rebel who claimed to hate him sooooo much – were willing to sell out humanity to get back in his good graces. Although this might say less of their love for God and more for their hatred of mankind – specifically Sam and Dean. Afterall, Lucifer has no real reason to be loyal to the brothers. They tried to kill him repeatedly, and while his major contribution to the series appears to be Jack, his son doesn’t hold much affection for him either. Killing the boys makes perfect sense. Michael, conversely, was only tied to the Winchesters by Adam, and because Dean was his ultimate vessel. He also has no real reason to side with them. Again, consider that throughout most of the series, Michael is bad mouthed by Dean, gets cast into the cage with Lucifer because of Cass, and when Sam’s soul is rescued from the cage Adam’s isn’t. If I were Michael, I’d definitely choose my father over a pair of brothers who fuck over just about every divine being they’ve come into contact with.
Right, back to the synopsis. Sadly, everything was according to a plan. If you were paying attention towards the end of the last episode, Jack’s got a bit of a weird new kink. At some point this power is explained to the Winchesters (not us, clearly), and it helps them devise a plan to take out Chuck for good. See, they realize that Michael is still a daddy’s boy, and use this against him. Essentially, they sacrifice two archangels, and allow themselves to be nearly killed at God’s hands in order for Jack to power up enough to take down the Big Guy. I’m a bit bothered by them being able to pull off this Ocean’s 11 ending only because, as a previous episode reiterated, God is omniscient. He should be able to see anything and everything coming – moreso now with Amara’s power added to his own. I was really hoping for something better from this series, but oh well. Like all the rest it lets the heroes win “because”. I did like that God’s ultimate punishment was to wind up a lowly human being. Powerless, meaningless, and subject to all the pitfalls of being alive.
Their ace in the hole? Jack. He’s a power syphon. Absolutely no explanation is given for this other than it appears to be a side effect of him surviving the explosion that didn’t take out The Empty. My prediction that Jack might become the new God isn’t wrong, and by the end of the episode he’s restored all of the people and creatures that Chuck dusted. This also means he won’t be buddy, buddy with Sam and Dean anymore. He’s gonna be more of an observer than a writer.
So…now what? The ending montage gives the viewer the impression that this is actually the series finale, as opposed to the prelude to the finale, but there is in fact one episode left. Definitely curious where it will take us. As a rule, series endings tend to follow two trajectories when it comes to the final two episodes: Either A – the second to last episode builds up to a beautiful cliffhanger climax that is resolved in the final episode’s first half, with the second half reserved for epilogue type storyline tie-ups. Or B – the second to last episode resolves the big beautiful build up climax that had been set up at least an episode before, and the last episode’s entirety is dedicated to epilogue style storyline tie-ups. Either option can also include any definitive final moments speaking to the show and characters being put soundly to rest, or any lingering storylines left open speaking to the show and characters possibly coming back one day for further exploration.
Given that Sam and Dean now have actual free will, and that our conflict resolution was fairly bloodless in terms of main character sacrifices, my bet will be on a finale dedicated to showing the boys living their lives post Jack and God, with the ending message one of possible return. But who knows, maybe I’ll be wrong. Maybe it’ll pick up years, and years later when Sam and Dean are on their deathbed and at last get to reunite with all their friends…except for Cass cause The Empty don’t play. Or maybe they’ll die and get made into angels by Jack. The possibilities abound.
I will say, if they don’t die – peacefully or otherwise – I’ll be a little disappointed. Not because I necessarily hate Sam and Dean, but because I think after everything they’ve been through and done throughout the series, death should be the end for them. If you want to go ahead and visit the series ten or twenty years down the line, have at it, but do it with their progeny – I have to think Sam and Eileen have a girl, while Dean maybe gets back together with Lisa and it’s Ben who takes up the helm of his old man. I dunno, something to shake up this sausage fest of a series (and yes, haters, I will be coming back to this once the show is over so gird your loins now).