Our return from the holiday break brings us to the conclusion of the winter finale cliffhanger. Guess what? Admiral Ackbar was right! It’s a trap! More so than you think…
To quickly recap the winter finale, you can either read my actual recap, or these next few sentences:
Sam and Dean have concluded that while they may not be able to kill Chuck almighty, they can trap him (similar to what God did to Amara all those eons ago). After a brief reappearance of Michael (Oh, I hope he comes back again!!!) team Free Will gets the spell they need complete with a list of ingredients – most of which they have in the bunker except of course for one: a Leviathan blossom. Michael opens a riff to Purgatory (where said blossom grows) easy-peasy lemon-squeezy, and since Sam and Eileen are off helping another hunter, Dean and Cass prepare to enter the rift. Meanwhile, turns out there is no hunter in need of aid, it was…you guessed it: A Trap! God set it, and that’s where we start…
God couldn’t see into the bunker, but he wasn’t fine with sitting on the sidelines either. Eileen, we discover, has been his unwitting sleeper agent – keeping tabs on the boys. It’s pretty cool, I gotta say. Plus, it keeps in line with Sam’s terrible luck with women on the show. Dean and Cass are paired off, Cass insisting on sticking to the Purgatory plan when news of Sam’s predicament comes up. Also a fan of this. One of the great weaknesses the Winchesters consistently show is for each other – hell, half the seasons of the series wouldn’t exist without it! Seeing Cass be the logical one and force Dean to go along feels good.
The God and Sam storyline is very interesting. Eileen plays a very short role as a torturer to Sam, with God using her as his proxy since Sam knows Chuck “likes to watch”. But, once she’s gone, things take a decidedly dark turn – it’s a shame Supernatural doesn’t seem to know what to do with women. Yes, I know there have been a good deal of strong ladies on the show, and I’m not discounting that, but shuffling off Eileen just so Sam and God can have a showdown feels wrong. Especially since she’s used, quite literally, the ENTIRE TIME. The poor girl only has one independent action (when she calls Dean to alert him to their plight while Chuck is distracted trying to hurt Sam). You’ll also notice that in all of the dark scenarios Chuck shows Sam the ladies are not doing well (though, no one is really).
Actually, if you really think about it, this is a series that has lasted 15 seasons with 3 male leads and NO lady leads (sure, Mary Winchester fought the good fight for what? 2-3 seasons? And, while she was a prominent player, only one of the seasons was really focused on her – which also involved one of the worst plot points in the show’s history: The British Men of Letters). Maybe it is best, in this #MeToo and #TimesUp era that Supernatural wraps it up.
Now, back to the episode!
Dean and Cass’ time in Purgatory allows them to patch up their old wounds. Dean gets to finally deal with his anger towards Cass with respect to Mary’s death, while Cass maybe has a chance to comes to terms with his own failings regarding Jack’s death. All in all, some healing leads to accomplished goals. Isn’t that a good message to send? Being emotionally healthy is good for you!
More important though, is Sam’s time with God. Besides my aside regarding the lack of ladies in the show, there’s the other matter of importance: God is playing hardball. I love how the writers have really stepped up to the plate on this storyline. I was worried it was going to be like the Amara season: pointless. I mean, you’re fighting a god. Where do you really go with that? But, I gotta hand it to them – this season is much much more satisfying. Is it worth mentioning that when they had a lady god they dropped the ball on making the season as philosophically and psychologically interesting as when they deal with a male god? Yes. Yes, it is. Fuck, I hate to admit it, but this show is sexist! Not directly, don’t misunderstand, like I said, kick ass ladies abound, but the evidence is hard to ignore (devil’s advocate though: Chuck has a lot more history with the boys than Amara had with them, or anyone for that matter). Save for Rowena, Mary, Abaddon, and Lilith/Ruby, how often do we get lady drive storylines in Supernatural? Also, also, most of the times, those lady driven stories have the fem fatale angle applied to them. Jeeze, any romantic women are almost instantly killed or driven away!
Ok, ok, I said I would stop, and I will. For real this time: Back to the episode…Sam drops the ball – literally – on killing Chuck. Why? Because you can’t have a world without God. Apparently, he’s the light, and without him, the darkness takes over – and, no, not his sister Amara, we mean the Monsters. Promised I wasn’t gonna get back on that feminist soapbox, so I’m gonna ignore the fact that the only female equivalent to God in our series is also sent away – mostly because I’m fairly confident she’ll be back before the series’ end.
So yes, God shows Sam what the future will be: Sam and Dean eventually follow the great words of Harvey Dent – becoming the villains they spent so long fighting against. It’s a tragic end and one Chuck really doesn’t want to happen. And to be honest, I believe him. One of the wonderful things this show has done time and again is to give their big bads some really good character. While many of their foes were cookie-cutter (hi Raphael, Abaddon, The British Men of Letters, Yellow-eyes to name just a few), others have had quite rich personalities (hi Lucifer, Crowley, Rowena, Ruby – I know what I said!, and of course one of my favorites: Loki/Gabriel!). God can’t be an easy write – most shows/movies that deal with him/her/it treat the deity as either a needy, nasty, narcissist with too much power, or an unknowable benevolent (new testament) or violent (old testament) being.
Chuck, on the other hand, is probably the most human god I’ve ever seen in the media. Preacher’s God is a little more what I was expecting (not a bad depiction, but generally predictable), but Supernatural’s God truly embodies the idea of beings created in his image. Chuck even lives the part – existing amongst his creations. But what’s great about him is how well he oscillates between anger and compassion. He’s the absentee father that understands why the kids are mad he wasn’t around, but won’t be disrespected either.
Now, the last bit of gold in this episode comes from the toe head of Jack – who we saw wake up in the Empty waaaaaay back at the end of season 14. His appearance comes shortly after Dean says they need a new plan to defeat God (you remember, Sammy fucked things up because…hope…er…the lack thereof). Cue Billie telling Jack “It’s time”. Time for what? I’m certainly eager to find out!