Supernatural Puts ‘Jack In The Box’ – and Me In A Mood

 

It’s a tough time to be a fan. I have two shows that I absolutely adore, and both of those shows delivered a gut punch last week that left me reeling. The Magicians season finale saw the death of one of my favorite characters (and half of my favorite ship) and it was both excruciatingly well done and absolutely heartbreaking (and maybe a bit problematic too). The very next night, Supernatural aired its penultimate episode of Season 14. I was already raw from the anticipatory grieving about Supernatural ending this time next year, and then The Magicians ripped me apart, so I went into watching “Jack In The Box” with more trepidation and dread than anticipation.

To those of you saying hey, why can’t you just watch the Show and love it? Let me just say that I would give ANYTHING to be able to do that right now. I DO love it, I will always love it. What I really want to do is squee about it all the time.  But last week’s episode left me feeling sad and vaguely sick to my stomach, so there’s not a lot of squee to be had right now.

I always go back and do a rewatch before I write my review, but today I found every excuse not to. Have to run out and pick up the ham for tomorrow’s dinner. Have to grade some papers. Have to clean….and water the plants (we have lot of plants, so that took alot of time)…have to….  Finally I couldn’t put it off any longer, and the rewatch made me feel every bit as sick to my stomach as the first watch did. I guess you can say that means the episode was well done, because it was clearly crafted to be upsetting (just as the episode before was crafted to be very sad), but when I don’t want to watch it, I’m not sure that’s the level of upset the Show was going for.

There were lots of times back in the day when fandom would all go online after a rip-you-apart episode of Supernatural and post tons of icons (predecessor of gifs) saying “Damn You Kripke!”

The Show has never played it the easy way, and it has never been lollipops and rainbows. It’s a story filled with tragedy, but it has also always been a story with hope and with characters I loved fiercely, who were often heroic in the face of tragedy. Terrible things have happened to our heroes over the years, and they’ve had to make terrible decisions to save the world and each other, but this episode was particularly hard to swallow. I’m well aware that my emotions (like most of the fandom’s) are heightened because we know we have only 21 episodes left of this story that is so important to us. That makes every episode that doesn’t hit quite right for me seem even more upsetting than it would have before we knew the end was imminent. So with that in mind, here are my thoughts on ‘Jack In The Box.’

We’ve known the episode title for quite a while, so everyone knew that Jack was probably going to end  up in that goddamn box, but I for one didn’t want to believe it. The Ma’lak box was so profoundly upsetting to the fandom when Dean was determined to get in it, and his nightmare so horrifying, that the thought of Jack in that box was almost unthinkable. So I guess I chose not to think about it. Still, as the ‘Then’ segment started, a chilling dread began to settle over me. Please Show, don’t go there. Please?

Let me just say at the outset that all the actors outdid themselves. They all played their parts incredibly well and every one of them made me genuinely feel. It wasn’t always what I wanted to feel, but feel I did. Robert Singer directed (and had a cameo as a doctor) and that was also as well done as always. The VFX was on point and the cinematography and set dec were often breathtakingly beautiful. I appreciate my Show even when I’m reluctant to go where it’s taking me.

We open with a memorial service for Mary in the bunker. The AU hunters and other people who’ve hunted with her are there, her photo (or rather Sam Smith’s photo) and John’s journal on the table. Sam, Dean and Cas join the group but only Dean speaks. He’s carefully composed, makes a joke about Mary’s cooking even, while Sam stands silent, nodding in agreement.

Dean: We lost our mom once before…

It’s something important to remember when you look at Dean’s behavior in this episode. There’s this thing with grief that’s called the “fishhook effect”. A new loss “hooks into” all the old loss and pulls it up like a fish snagged on a line, so that the pain of the new loss brings up all the pain of the old one and it’s overwhelming. That’s what happens to Dean here, I think. Unlike Sam, he remembers the horrible pain of losing his mother as a four year old, something that has shaped his life ever since and left him with a reservoir of anger that he’s channeled into making him an often ruthless hunter.

Dean expresses their gratitude that they got to know her and what she was really like, a smart and stubborn hunter who couldn’t cook worth a damn.

Dean: Mom, you weren’t here long enough…. But we’re glad for the time we had.

There’s a weird and jarring moment in the middle of all this where AU Bobby suddenly appears and tosses a hatchet across the room to kill one of the guests, who apparently is a wraith, but WTF? It was all very odd.

WTF?

AU Bobby says what we’re all thinking – that maybe Dean is like him, “bein’ teary in public’s not my style.”

That’s for sure because Bobby doesn’t seem very torn up at all for someone who was maybe kinda sorta having a bit of a thing with Mary.

At any rate, it’s soon clear that something is up with Dean. Sam suggests they open Ketch’s bottle of Scotch and hang out and talk about Mom.

Dean: (almost coldly) Talk about Mom? Isn’t that what we’ve been doing?

Ouch.

He boxes things up with steely motivation, like he thinks he can just box up his grief over losing his mother (again).

Courtesy of that grief and loss course I’m currently teaching, Dean and Sam struggle to understand each other in this episode or to be there for each other because they have two very different styles of grieving. Sam is an intuitive griever – he wants to express his grief and share his feelings, eager to take in the comfort of others. Dean, on the other hand, is an instrumental griever. He keeps his feelings to himself and tries to DO something instead – like plan a memorial and box up his mother’s things. Neither can help the other right now, and that’s heartbreaking.

Cas, Sam and Bobby break out the Scotch as Sam looks at one of the very few (only?) photos of him, Dean and Mary when they were little.

They disagree, however, about what to do about Jack.

Cas: We need to find Jack…and help him.

Bobby: I liked the kid… but if his human side is gone, he’s an unstoppable monster who don’t know right from wrong, and he needs to be put down!

Bobby sets off to do just that, and Dean takes off saying he needs to get out of there.

When the next scene opens, we see that Dean has parked the Impala in the woods and is sitting alone on a fallen log. He looks around one last time to make sure nobody is watching him, and then he finally breaks down. Jensen Ackles can make you believe grief like no one else, and he sobbed for real here. I can’t help but wonder if he was crying real tears knowing he will be losing Dean Winchester soon, the way so many of us keep crying. At any rate, it was a heartbreaking scene. Ackles talked about it at a recent convention, saying that it was a brutal scene to film because it was cold and pouring rain and they needed to shoot from above so there couldn’t be any shelter for him. It sounded like it took a long time to film, so it’s sort of a shame it was so short. It got the point across though. Dean is hurting – BAD. He just can’t let anyone know it.

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And what is the most common ‘cover’ emotion when someone is hurting that badly? You guessed it. Anger.

When Dean returns to the bunker, Sam tries again to talk to him about their shared loss.

Sam: How’re you feeling?

Dean: What’re you working on?

He avoids, evades, won’t go there.

Sam tries again, saying that he can’t stop thinking about Mom. Sam is trying to work things through, come to some kind of terms with Mary’s death. He wants to take solace in knowing that Mary is in Heaven – in a great place. With John.

Dean: (coldly) Know what else? There wasn’t even enough of her left to try to bring her back.

Oh Dean. You’re in a bad bad place right now.

He’s clearly grieving – we KNOW he’s grieving – but it’s all channeled into anger right now. He keeps thinking of his mother incinerated, and you can see what it’s doing to him.

Sam is also in a bad place, trying to come to terms with the loss of the mother he finally got a chance to know, only to have her taken away again too soon. He keeps trying to reach out to Dean, but Dean just can’t express his grief or even hear Sam’s.

And that hurts.

Meanwhile, Jack sits alone at a train station, perhaps as a metaphor for how badly he wishes he could escape and get away from the disaster that his life has become. He begs his mother to tell him what to do, trying desperately to connect to his human side, but all he has is Lucifer tormenting him, telling him that Sam and Dean never loved him, and that they hate him now.

Oh Jack.

I complained last week that I wasn’t able to ‘go there’ with Show when Mary died, because they just hadn’t given me enough time with her or reason to feel a bond with her. I know some people feel that way about Jack, and in truth, I at first was doubtful that I’d be able to go there with him either. We got more time with Jack and saw a bit more reason to feel affection for him (or to understand the Winchesters’ affection for him) but it could have been more. I didn’t entirely buy the swiftness with which the Winchesters accepted him as “family” – they toss that term around too easily these days, it seems, and Lucifer’s son was an unlikely adoptee. I questioned bringing in a younger actor, as though somehow Sam and Dean and Cas were too “old” and the Show needed a teenager to be on the CW. They mostly traded on Alex Calvert’s ability to make Jack appear naïve and eager to please, but Calvert did such a nice job of making Jack appealing that I ended up buying into Jack despite feeling a bit manipulated into it. I was at times aware that the Show was almost certainly setting us up to accept Jack so they could turn him darkside, but apparently not aware enough to be totally prepared for it.

Cas goes to Heaven looking for Naomi’s help in finding Jack, only to discover Dumah is in charge with Naomi locked up because she let the Empty invade. (Heaven is just seriously full of assholes, honestly.)  Cas tells her about Jack, which is probably a terrible mistake (It is).

Dumah goes straight to Jack, telling him everything he wants to hear (the accident wasn’t his fault, he can still make the world a better place and even save Heaven and then Sam and Dean will be happy with him.)  It hurts to see how badly Jack wants to makes things right, how naively he just believes Dumah and how coldly she manipulates him for her own gain. Angels really are dicks.

Look at the hope on his face when he thinks he can redeem himself.

Jack turns the anti-Heaven pro-rationalism professor into a pillar of salt, clearly feeling good about what Dumah tells him is doing good. It makes it very very clear that Jack really is horribly dangerous, and yet the emotion I keep feeling is sympathy for him anyway, I can’t help it. He really doesn’t get it.

That, of course, doesn’t make him any less dangerous. He’s strikingly without emotion as he turns the guy to salt.

Dumah installs him on his father’s throne in Heaven and tells him to listen for people who want to be angels.

Sure enough, he hears a congregation who is praying about going to Heaven, and appears to them with the news that he can do that. They’re appropriately in awe of Jack and his shadowy wings – but then the not-quite-as-pious pastor comes in and tries to shut it down, and Jack shuts him down. Once again, Biblically – this time infested with worms that come popping out of him and EWWWW.

Rationally, this is clear evidence that Jack is capable of doing unspeakably horrible things to people. He has no empathy for the tormented man, just looks pleased that he did what he’s “supposed to do”. It’s crystal clear that he has to be stopped, but once again, I also feel bad for how badly he’s being manipulated and how his desire to do what the Winchesters would approve of is making him so vulnerable to that manipulation.

He gleefully makes angels out of the congregation, which was confusing – how come he could do that? All he needed were vessels? Angels true form isn’t human anyway, so I don’t…. Head scratch.

This whole story bit is reminiscent of Cas’ Godstiel stint, where he too thought he was doing the right thing by playing God. In this show, everyone wants to be God. Except God!

Back at the bunker, Castiel tells the Winchesters that the angels will help them find Jack. Dean is understandably skeptical. Smart!Sam finds the professor turned into a pillar of salt, and then Show makes me pissy.

Dean: Why does that sound familiar?

Really, Show? Dean absolutely has known about the story of Lot in the past, and has even referenced it. Grrr.

Castiel has to explain the Biblical reference to both Winchesters, which is just wrong.

They visit the poor worm-infested guy, and both Sam and Dean are clearly impacted by the horror of what Jack did, which leads to everything that happens next (though more dialogue about it would have helped).

Also, tiny shallow detour – the boys look nice in their Fed suits and Baby looks gorgeous carrying her boys through the pretty Vancouver landscape.

Sam and Dean’s horror over the fate of the worm-infested guy leads into one of the scenes that was so hard to watch. Dean tells Sam that he knows what they need to do – put Jack in the Ma’lak box.

Me: Oh God, they really are going there…

Sam doesn’t want to, protests that there’s no way Jack will go along with that, but Dean persists and tells him why Jack will. Because they’re going to lie to him.

Despite his rage, it’s not that Dean is entirely okay with this either. You can see him close his eyes and steel himself for this, both what they’re going to do to Jack and I think also that he’s going to try to convince Sam of something he knows that Sam will not want to do.

Dean to Sam: Because you’re gonna be so damn sincere.

Sam: What? Why me?

Dean: Because you’ve always been in his corner.

It’s the truth. And that makes it horrifying. Sam clearly does not want to go along with this plan, but I also don’t think he can think of any alternative (and neither can I). They know from what Jack is doing, as well as from how he killed their mother, that he can’t be out there ripe for manipulation and capable of doing very awful things. And Dean is so sure that this is the only way, I think Sam goes along with it because he just doesn’t know what else to do. They are also both unbalanced with grief – entire lifetimes of grief – and raw from the loss of their mother at Jack’s hands. It’s a recipe for disaster and questionable decisions.

Meanwhile, Castiel forces his way back into Heaven and has it out with Dumah, realizing how she’s been manipulating Jack. Unfortunately instead of just yanking Jack out of there as would have made sense, he leaves the room to confront her.

Cas: You’re using Jack to solidify your power!

Dumah: I’m saving the world, I’m saving Heaven.

What is it with everyone getting power hungry and wanting to run heaven?? I don’t even really see how Jack is solidifying her power, but anyway, she makes the mistake of threatening to snap her fingers and take away John and Mary’s heaven if Cas doesn’t step down.

And Cas pulls out an angel blade and kills her. He can be as steely cold and determined as Dean when he believes it’s the right thing to do.

I really liked Cas in this episode – he was closer to early seasons Castiel than he’s been in a while, badass and full of conviction. Misha Collins likes to joke that they made Cas less of a badass because he’s not one, but in this episode he absolutely brought it – this is not a Castiel that I would mess with! I was thoroughly convinced of his genuine loyalty and love for Jack and his willingness to do what it takes to try to save him.

Side note of shallow: Misha’s eyes are so damn pretty.

The next scene with Sam and Dean was hard for me to watch. Even on rewatch, when I knew what was going to happen, I found myself wanting to fast forward through the scene of Sam reaching out to Jack and manipulating him just like Dumah and everyone else has been. Everything Sam says to Jack should be the truth – it’s almost like he’s spouting the message of the Show itself – except it’s all a lie. And that HURTS. I hated hearing Sam do that so much, it made my stomach turn.

He tells Jack they forgive him, that they’re family. That they need to see him – it’s what their mother, and his mother, would want.

Sam: We just want things to be the way they were before.

It’s exactly what Jack wants, and Sam pulls it off perfectly, and my skin crawls to hear it.

Jack appears (smiling proudly): I’ve been making angels. I really missed you guys.

Oh Jack. Calvert excels at making us believe all that sincerity with those puppy dog eyes.

He tries to explain about killing Mary, but his lack of a soul makes it all come out very very wrong.

Jack: I regret it. The accident.

Dean and Sam both flinch when he refers to their mother’s death in the unemotional and impersonal term “the accident”. You can see the moment Dean goes cold and calculating, determined. All the light literally goes out of his eyes, and it’s terrifying to witness.

Jack: She kept pushing…before I knew it, it was all over.

Dean: It being the accident

That was a chilling conversation. This is the only time I felt like maybe this was the only answer, because Jack is so off here. It veers close to the classic abuse scenario, the whole “she wouldn’t shut up and I just snapped” non-explanation and Jack’s simultaneous regret but lack of emotion about it. Without a soul, he truly is scary. They maybe should have played that up a little more if they wanted me to go along completely with what comes next.

Let’s take a second to talk about how incredible all three actors were in this scene.

If Jack had the capacity for empathy at that moment and wasn’t so distracted by what he wanted, he would have seen clearly that Dean Winchester’s eyes are cold as steel. He keeps his voice carefully modulated throughout this awful conversation, even forces the corner of his mouth up in an almost-smile at times, but there is zero warmth in his eyes. They are the eyes of someone who wants to destroy you, and if I were Jack I would be effing terrified.

I don’t even know how Ackles manages it, but you can see Dean’s every emotion as he carefully maneuvers his way through this delicate negotiation with Jack. He’s like a panther sizing up his prey and planning his every move, careful not to give away his intention too soon, lethal strength tightly coiled until it’s time to spring. It was absolutely chilling to watch, and because it was directed at Jack, it left me shaking I was so upset.

This is the smile that should make you run screaming in the other direction.

The tension in this scene is brilliantly depicted by all three of the actors.

Padalecki is equally amazing as he manages to make Sam’s slowly breaking heart evident even as Sam resolutely sticks to the script and forces himself to keep going. He still does have empathy for Jack, and ironically it’s that remaining bit of genuine affection that convinces Jack that Sam and Dean are trying to do what’s best for him. And that, more than anything, got to me.

Jack believes them. Jack wants to believe them.

Alex Calvert was also brilliant, making Jack appear vulnerable and human as he wrestles with his anxiety and doubt and decides to trust the men he’s looked up to so much.  He climbs in, lies down, goes along with it all.

Gifs by itsokaysammy

As soon as he’s in, Dean springs into action, locking the cover in place, his face set in pure determination.

He looks to Sam then, maybe for validation.

Sam closes his eyes, agony written all over his face.  Even Dean looks a little shocked by what they’ve done.

I think Sam leaves the room then because he can’t stand what they’ve done. The door closes and Jack is truly alone.

Inside the box, the inevitable panic sets in, and Jack plaintively calls out for the men he’s come to think of as fathers.

Jack: Sam! Dean! Are you guys still there? Sam?

I was a sobbing mess at that point, but even worse, I was sick to my stomach. The Show has done way too good a job at making me care about Jack to allow me to feel like lying to him and tricking him into a box all alone for the rest of his existence is okay. Even if the logical part of my brain can see that it probably IS the only option, all my emotions are railing against it.

Neither Sam nor Dean are unaffected, you can see it on their faces, but they also do not go back in the room to reassure Jack.

I guess it’s pretty clear I was that mom who wasn’t very good at not going back in the bedroom to reassure my crying babies when they were supposed to be going to sleep either, isn’t it?

Dean pours them drinks. It’s not in celebration, it’s in an attempt to drown the sadness. Sam doesn’t drink his.

Sam: So what do we do now? Go on with Jack locked up in there forever?

Dean: We have to.

Sam: I don’t know if I can do that.

I’m clinging to that one small bit of dialogue, that Sam hasn’t given up, that maybe he’s determined to try to find a way to fix Jack’s soul – or something! I find it hard to believe that Sam could live with knowing Jack was in there terrified and alone forever, soul or no soul. I mean, I can’t live with it!

Cas returns and tells Sam and Dean that Jack was being manipulated by Dumah, that he was trying to do what he thought would please them.  He says they have to find Jack, and Sam answers that Jack is already there.

Dean: He’s in the Ma’lak box.

Cas: NO.

Dean: And that’s where he’s gonna stay.

Cas: Sealed in a living death??

Dean: I think deep down he knows it’s best….

Cas: No! You’re like Dumah…. Manipulating him…

I was pretty much team Castiel here. Although I think Dean’s comment is telling. He’s not as unfeeling as he seems – he’s already trying to rationalize his decision, telling himself that even Jack probably knows that it was the only way. After all, he was willing to get in that box himself if it kept the world safe, so it’s not a huge leap to convince himself that’s the best thing for Jack too.

At that moment, perhaps predictably, in the box, Jack hallucinates the ever not helpful Lucifer. He goads Jack, telling him he got played, that he can’t trust the Winchesters and they don’t trust him. Jack looks so vulnerable here, a kid with his cell phone clutched in one hand… I know he’s not a kid, he’s a powerful  Nephilim without a soul, but that’s how he’s been presented to us, logically or not.

Jack accesses all his power, and the bunker begins to shake, bathed in red light as the intruder alarms go off.

Cas, Sam and Dean run through the bunker, walls shaking, to find the Ma’lak box exploded.

Through the smoke, a shadowy figure with glowing eyes appears.

Sam: Jack?

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It’s a reprise of that very first scene where Sam found Jack huddled in the dark in the corner, only his glowing eyes visible. The scene where we all knew, deep down, as perhaps Sam and Dean did too, that this was not going somewhere good.

Fade to black. One more episode left.

The fandom was ripped apart by this episode almost as much as my heart was. Some people attacked Dean, going so far as to call him a monster who had locked up a naïve child in a box. Some people attacked the writers, saying that Sam in particular would never go along with such a plan. Other people attacked those people, saying that anyone who turned on Sam and Dean had not been paying attention all these years – that the Winchesters can be ruthless when they need to be and that they had no other choice.

I just felt sad. And still a bit sick. These are not my favorite writers, and some of the dialogue particularly between Sam and Dean was so disjointed it barely made sense. I don’t know if it was writing or editing or both, but they didn’t even seem to be talking to each other at times. Talk about not being on the same page – perhaps it was a bit of that literally.

I’ve feared that Jack was going to be the “Big Bad” of the season all along, but I really did not want it. I don’t like seeing Dean Winchester, the fictional character I’m crazy about, so cold and calculating, even if it makes sense. I don’t like the thought of anyone or anything trapped in that effing box for all time. I don’t like Sam calling Jack family as a trick and a lie instead of with the genuine affection he has had before for Jack. It’s all so horrible, and on top of the grief I’m already dealing with, it honestly felt like too much. I’m not sure I’m ever going to want to watch that episode again, and I rarely say that about this Show.

I don’t think Sam and Dean are monsters. I think, as always, they did what they had to do. I don’t think what they did wasn’t close enough to in character to be believable – I think they saw this as their only option. I think the depth of their grief hasn’t begun to be explored, and that’s partly why this seemed so hard to swallow. They just lost their Dad for the second time too, after one blissful night of their entire family being together. Now their Mom is gone for the second time as well, and it’s just too much. And this isn’t the first time they’ve had to make an impossible decision to do what they thought would keep the world safe. Or the first time they did whatever it took to go after a ‘monster’ who killed their mother. It’s just that this time, that ‘monster’ also saved Sam’s life, and Castiel’s life. That makes things a lot more complicated than the YED, who definitely was not trying to “do the right thing”.

I don’t expect the Winchesters to be perfect. But much like when Dean killed Amy Pond and when he locked Sam in the panic room, I don’t have to like what he did. Do I have another idea? Nope. But I still hated this one. And I don’t appreciate that the Show signed on for a story line that has so much of the fandom furious at one of the characters who makes this Show the amazing thing it is. Yes, I’m protective of a fictional character, what else is new?

Can we go back to me 100% rooting for the Winchesters and Team Free Will to fight off something like the YED who we all can happily root against??

I’ve never gone into a season finale worried that the Show will take me somewhere I genuinely do not want to go. And I’m very aware that it’s our last “season finale” – the next one will be the series finale. I so want to have a last hiatus that makes me full of anticipation for the next, and last, season.

Usually my favorite shows are my solace, my go-to place when I need to escape from the stresses and the sometimes horrible stuff of real life. Right now, Supernatural and The Magicians aren’t able to be that. Here’s hoping next week changes that at least a little. I was just reminded by a friend on Twitter to “have faith”, so I think I’m going to do that. I’ve trusted this Show through fourteen seasons and I’m not going to stop now, especially when Jared and Jensen have made it clear how invested they are in the final season. So here’s me being cautiously optimistic that the season finale will be one I want to watch again and again. It might break me, as Supernatural often does, but let’s hope it breaks me in all the right ways!

Icons by gigglingkat and missyjack

Caps by kayb625

Gifs by itsokaysammy

— Lynn

If you, like me, need to feel better and

remember what an amazing thing this Show

and cast are, pick up a copy of Family Don’t

End With Blood, with chapters written by the

actors and the fans about what Supernatural

means to all of us!

 

 

99 thoughts on “Supernatural Puts ‘Jack In The Box’ – and Me In A Mood

  • One step forward, 3 steps back.

    Ok, the first time I watched this episode I hated it. But, I was overtired and a bit stressed so I decided to watch it again a little more awake and trying to be a bit less judgemental. I also (like Lynn and others) am not a huge fan of these writers. They write the characters wrong, stupid or just naive. This episode didn’t change my mind.
    First, at the beginning of this season, it was Sam being a leader, he was teaching the AU bunch about this world. He was explaining this world, he was getting some strength and confidence. Even Dean acknowledged this. This episode? Dean was doing the talking and Sam was 2nd banana again. Dean did the “mom” speech, made the decision about the box, decided Sam would do the lying. They showed Dean alone in the forest (great scene though) but not that much of how Sam was coping. It annoys me that the writers have done this to a great character and basically shoved him back into the background.

    The other thing that annoyed me was Castiel still being as incredibly naive about his fellow angels. Really?? Also, are there ANY decent angels? At all? So Dumah dies and they’re down to 10 (?) angels? The ones that Jack supposedly changed? Nope! Not buying it.

    I did kind of understand Deans reasoning but it seemed forced. We have the box, we have a nephilim going bad-let’s do some lazy writing and put him in the box. Wasn’t a surprise, not really a shock. Lazy.

    There aren’t a lot of episodes left so please, please let writers who know the boys write the stories.

    • Regarding Sam.. I understand the progression of leader to follower at this point. This whole season Sam has seen his decisions turn to loss of life. He trusted Nick, he made the decision to let Jack syphon off his soul, his group of AU hunters including Maggie (the ones he convinced to come to their world) were slaughtered, his mother was disintegrated by the nephilim he trusted and loved, he convinced Dean not to sacrifice himself which led to Michael escaping and being consumed by Jack. It’s been a hit list of choices that all went south on him. I can see why he was acquiescing to Dean. He has just lost people he loves and the last thing he needs is for Dean to confront Jack on his own…there might be another “accident”.
      I’m not sayin that Dean was right and Sam was wrong. Sam had another difficult choice to make. Dean was angry and driven and if Sam hadn’t backed him up his brother would be dead too.

      • I believe Sam made good call giving Nick a chance, at that point it was unchartered waters, no vessel had outlived the demise of its Angel when done correctly, that I suspect was on Crowley, he brought back the vessel formerly known as Nick, but did he tamper and twist him in the same way Lucifer did? Regarding Micheal, did Sam underestimate Dean’s ability to hold Micheal?Yes , should he have let Dean hunt? Possibly not, but try stopping Dean when his mind is made up and to be fair Sam didn’t know it would end with Dean being knocked out so that he was forced to make an on the spot decision to bring his injured brother home, he wouldn’t have necessarily known how many hunters were home or that Rowena would let Micheal in. I think Sam has been an excellent and thoughtful leader, but he’s got a lot to learn and he will get stronger.

      • To clarify…this isn’t blaming Sam for anything. None of the events of this season were his fault. My point is that Sam might be feeling unsure of himself at the moment. I can understand after all he has been through lately Sam might be unwilling to risk his brother getting killed too.

      • That was definitely not the way I interpreted your view, apologies if you thought that. Re reading my reply it did sound kinda defensive didn’t it? I just have some much to say about this episode, I’m practically bursting, it came out worse than I meant, profound apologies 🤗

      • Poor Sam, he has had a horribly tough time this season. There could have been so much more done with Sam’s progression, from taking the reins and being such a strong and charismatic leader in Dean’s absence, to the psychological fallout of so much tragedy (one of the awful risks of being the one making the decisions). We’re extrapolating, but it would have been interesting to explore and not have to extrapolate all of it.

      • Marion
        No worries. I just wanted to make sure I was making my position clear…just in case. Your thoughts are some of my favorites to read.

      • Phew, 😉 folks are having tough time , so glad I didn’t offend. For clarification also, nothing and no one will ever take Dean and Sam’s place in my heart, so much so every time I type one name auto predict always says and Sam or and Dean, they are inseparable in my world. Take care no doubt I’ll have masses to say next week, spk then!

    • I’m hoping that Jared and Jensen have as much input as possible next season so that these characters I love so much can be IN character all season – it’s our last chance with them, after all!

      • I totally agree. Both Jared and Jensen have said that no one knows their characters better than they do. I hope they get to have some control over at least what Sam and Dean do and react.

  • Lynn, once again I agree with you on every point. its like you know me and what I was feeling in every scene. all the while that sam was so reluctantly manipulating jack, I could only think of him in S2 Hunted, where he didn’t even want to hurt Gordon and called the cops on him instead. And he saved Amy Pond too. so many instances. yes, Jared gave us his all, and I could feel it right through my TV screen. and Jensen’s scene in the woods just broke my heart. But when he portrays Dean as cold and calculating, he is scary. I’ve often said that when he gets a certain look I wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley. and I love dean, have loved him from day one. I know he was hurting, but I hated that he could talk Sam into it. and afterwards just dismissing sam’s feelings, talking about the scotch instead. I know that’s dean just deflecting. I hate it that the guys have been separated all season, physically and emotionally. I haven’t felt like this even during S8, 9, 10. It hurts to know my fave characters of 14 years are in such a bad place right now. … I fell in love with Jack from the get-go and when he called for the guys and said ‘I don’t think I like this’, once again my heart broke. I found the whole episode to be very intense for me. And I agree that these two writers are not my favourite.

    • Intense is a good word for it – and in the fragile state that this fandom is currently in, that was honestly too much for alot of us!

  • Oh Lynn, parts of this were so so horrible I’ve not been able to re watch yet. Do I like how Jack got suckered, twice, no I do not, do I think he’s grasped exactly how bad what he’s done to Mary and his other victims is? No I do not. We’ve come to accept Jack as human and attached human traits to him, but without his soul there is no moral compass so what to do with him? No soul means he’s not exactly human now. I know Bob Singer insisted on poor Jensen being outside , alone as it was cinematic, but also it was symbolic of Dean’s detachment from everyone and everything that he wasn’t sat grieving in Baby , who is normally his refuge, something the show went to great pains to point out only a few episodes back, when he was on his goodbye tour. I think Bob’s vast experience told him we needed to really understand Dean in that moment, how crushed he was and so he told the story the best way, giving full rage to Jensen to do what he does best to make us sympathetic to someone who is extremely closed off , who, even in good times , has to make concious effort to be present and emotionally available. Dean is on the verge of, or possibly is experiencing, some kind of mental unwellness, he’s battled pretty much lifelong depression, interlaced with bouts of chronic self loathing and alcoholism( I surely noted he’s back on the whiskey) , being unable to save Mary a second time is more than he can bare . I read a beautiful analogy of Dean and Sam and how they co-exist ( kudos to the writer but sorry can’t remember who as I have elderly lady brains!) Dean orbits Sam like a satellite. The Satellite that is Dean has been hit by a meteor shower of emotion, triggered by Mary’s death leaving him so far from his natural orbit that Sam can’t reach him, he’s spinning further and further away. Then it struck me, much as I hate what they have done, this episode is completely awful , yet brilliant, for so long, there had been minimal acknowledgement of the countless traumas they have all been through, almost on occasion a bit of a joke how quickly they bounce back, when by rights they ought to be weeping in a corner somewhere. Perhaps, and I may be wrong, there’s finally going to be some acknowledgement of when is it too much to ask a couple of traumatized, twice orphaned , human, guys to be responsible for the world and how long is it really ok to keep pushing down stuff before you push back? I don’t judge or blame any of them, they all had valid issues, mistakes were make on all sides, the Mom in me wants to just gather them up safely and get them back on the same page. Non of them deserved what happened but it’s a sad fact I can testify to from my own experience, an unexpected and tragic death can tear a family apart , when grief and anger take hold. It certainly gave me new perspective on John Winchester, he’s not always seen in a good light , he got angry and his rage set his sons onto their present path, Dean seems to be going that way right now, but Dean is not a bad person, he’s just not ok and he needs someone to pull him back. John didn’t have any support network other than Bobby and Pastor Jim. There have been criticisms of both brothers, but I defend both, Sam is juggling his own grief with tying to hold onto Dean, but he’s not superman, back at the beginning of the season desperately seeking his brother wth Mary at his side, he was self neglecting ( something he learned from his brother) he needs chance to breathe. Cas seems to be the voice of reason, but he too has issues, should he have locked up Dumah not kill her? Heaven needs every angel now, but I get it, he was putting his family first, no criticisms, the power of hind sight would be a beautiful thing. I just want things back how they were, but that can’t happen, so I hope they can work through it together and move forward, because they are family.

    • Marion, you are so insightful. while I sit in the corner and cry, you have taken the time to think about it. I am all emotions I guess. I love what you said. hugs to you

      • Well, thank you for taking time to read my ramblings, I can’t take all the credit, I’ve formulated my ideas chatting with some lovely folks at Winchester Family Business ( hope you don’t mind the mention Lynn?) I’m totally invested in my beloved Winchester brothers and have spent whole weekend thinking and thinking more until Lynn posted. Glad it meant something to you. 😃

    • I often joke that ‘Supernatural Psychology’ is all about how Sam, Dean and Castiel are still standing after all the trauma they’ve been through instead of lying on the ground in a puddle – but it’s no joke. They have been through more than anyone could possibly withstand, especially the two who are human. I’m with you, I just want to hug them!

  • Where o where is Robbie Thompson? Please let him come back and write for the last season. I agree with everything you said, LYNN. Poor Jack poor Sam and poor poor Dean.

    • I agree, to have Robbie back would be a dream…or Sera Gamble, Jeremy Carver, Ben Edlund, or Eric Kripke! At least let them have Kripke back to consult on storylines, for the last season. PLEASE don’t let season 15 be the mess that 14 has been…let the show go out on a high note, that the SPN family can all be proud of and happy with!

  • Also, can we have Kripe back for at least one last time, writer, Director, 2nd A.D, whatever works for him, we just need him back.

  • To be fair. Sam says that the professor was crystallized into salt, which leads Dean to say why that sounds familiar and Castiel being the one to actually use the phrase “pillar of salt.”

    • True, but I mean, we all knew right away, right? I think Dean would have too. But it’s nit picky, I’m the first to admit.

  • Lynn-
    I’m so sorry for all the Magician fans out there. It’s not a show I watch but so many of you have been virtually bleeding all over your timelines this past week. And then to add out heroes manipulating someone who was once family? Nope. Too hard. Thanks for writing the review.

    Feedback thoughts:
    1) The storyline was DESIGNED to be divisive. We were supposed to be uncomfortable. That’s okay ONCE IN A BLUE MOON. But they better not keep it up. The boys have come too far, and Cas with them, to break their bonds.
    2) The ends do not justify the means. This has been part of the ethos of Supernatural for the last 14 years. Which means they need to find another way. That doesn’t mean they don’t do awful things when necessary (Sam jumping into the pit was horrible decision but it was noble). And lying to a loved one has been cast as noble before if they are protecting them. But tricking a loved one into an eternity of torment? No. That’s not how our boys really roll. And Sam WAS already pushing for an alternative. And Cas wasn’t going to sit with the decision either. So ultimately, if Jack hadn’t broken out, I’m 100% confident TFW 1.0 would have found a better solution. But Jack’s escape has preempted that. Which means things are worse as now Jack no longer trusts them.
    3) Thank you on the comments on grief. I do think both boy’s reactions are fascinating. But I am more worried about Dean’s mental health than Sam’s. And thanks for providing the proper name, “fishhook effect”, for describing what so many of us were picking up on. It’s horrible enough that she died. But she also freaking BURNED AGAIN. So not cool show. By all rights Dean should be in a ball in a corner with an IV drip full of something strong.

    I NEED Thursday to happen. I need this fixed. And I’ll accept a cliffhanger on something new but we need the Jack situation resolved better than “amoral toddler with nuclear weapons” is running around seeking validation.

    • Well said, I agree totally with your thoughts. it was for me one hell of a dark episode that really went to the terrible places they have threatened but not been, perhaps the finality of the upcoming season has put the writers on a path they didn’t dare go before and I am trusting it’s for good reason. The sadness of being the leader in a battle is knowing every choice could end bad, it’s why both Sam and Dean have been so weighed down, but they always do the best they can and I know they will continue to keep trying to do better

    • Exactly. Burned again. No wonder Dean is so fixated on how she was incinerated, not enough left of her to even try to bring back. AGAIN. *sobs in a corner*

  • So…yeah. I’m still furious at Dabb, Bucklemming, and the members of the fandom that have turned on Sam and especially Dean over a SIDE CHARACTER. Sorry, nougat boy pales in comparison to the Winchesters. I get that a lot of people really like him, and liked him from the beginning, but I remember when Dean actually HAD A CHILD who was half monster and Sam shot her in the f’ing back for bringing a knife to a gun fight. Dean’s own, actual, flesh-and-blood daughter who hadn’t DONE anything yet. Then Jack shows up in the exact same situation and the fandom is supposed to get on Team!Jack because Sam wants to trust him. Honestly, that’s when I truly started to hate Andrew Dabb, because he wanted to force me to care for a brand new, shiny character that he introduced as a child in the *exact same way* another child had been introduced, like I had no actual memory of where that story went and I was just supposed to ignore the obvious parallels (and hate Dean in the process for not liking the new little fluffy bunny).

    I remember when Dean got used to impregnate a monster under false pretenses, just as Kelly was used by a monster under false pretenses to become pregnant. I remember when the fandom insisted what happened to Dean wasn’t rape, but suddenly Kelly’s was, even when the situations were nearly identical (except Lucifer didn’t get Kelly drunk first, or specifically target her with the intent of procreating with her, he just happened to possess a guy she was already having an affair with). It took me a long time to get past that particular grind in my gears, only to have Dabb dredge it back up and insist that I must just *love* the child that was a production of sexual intercourse with dubious consent issues like they had never gone down this road before and like we weren’t told we were supposed to hate the first child who got shot in the back without hesitation, get over it, and move on. And it felt very much to me when they cast the role that we’re supposed to like Jack because he’s a boy, and just forget about Emma because she’s a girl. I’m digressing, but I have YEARS invested in this show, and episodes like this do nothing more than indicate to me that Dabb SINCERELY wants me to forget all about them, forget that anything else existed before he took over, that there were ever any other story lines before he got the head writer’s chair, otherwise how can he possibly think I will accept that I should feel more for Jack than I do Sam and Dean? He’ll mimic previous stories, rather than coming up with his own crap, but god forbid he acknowledge the ground has been trod before, and done better, because then he has to admit there are eleven whole seasons that don’t have his name on them, that were GOOD, and COHERENT and understood the story was about THE BROTHERS, not Dabb’s self-insert character who exists purely to make him feel like he’s as important as Jared and Jensen.

    Sam and Dean’s characterization has been tossed to the wayside this entire season for the sake of propping up Jack. It was cheap and manipulative just so we would feel bad when they stuck him in the Ma’lak box and I resent the way the boys I have loved for 14 seasons were portrayed in this episode as cruel or wrong or the villains when it came to actually getting Jack in the box. Jack is dangerous, just as Dean said he was when he landed on the scene. About the only thing in this episode that was any good was Sam deferring to Dean on what to do, because *every* choice he’s made this season (and for most of the series) has ended badly. Nick ended badly. The AU hunters ended badly. Not locking up Dean in the box ended badly. Trusting Jack ended badly. Obviously Sam is going to feel very much that he should not be the one making any plans to deal with this, so at least that showed some kind of coherent story telling when it came to Sam’s character arc (for the FIRST TIME under Dabb’s tenure). Also, Sam is a grown a$$ man fully capable of saying “No” to his older brother, despite a faction of the fandom currently calling for Dean’s head for “manipulating” poor wittle Sammy. Sam has NEVER had a problem speaking up when he doesn’t want to follow Dean’s way of doing things. I refer anyone currently bitching to seasons 4 and 5. Clearly he could not think of another option to containing Jack besides the box right this second. Doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have come up with another way, but right this second Jack was killing people and smiling about it, referring to Mary’s death as an accident that in Jack’s mind she partly brought on herself, even if he does regret it. Locking Jack up is on Sam as much as it is Dean, no matter how reluctant he was to do this, and I’M FINE WITH THAT. I really am. I don’t resent either of the HEROES of this story for recognizing Jack is off the rails and needs to be dealt with immediately, and for not being in any kind of rational emotional headspace to figure anything else out. My heart’s not broken by anything other than the way people who claim to be fans of this show have turned on the protagonists who are mourning the loss of their *mother,* who may have been pretty terribly written, but she was still their *mother,* over a dangerous monster getting shut in a box because the dangerous monster cried.

    Boo hoo for the dangerous monster. The character I’ve wanted to wrap in blankets and feed hot chocolate and pie since the very first episode was bawling his eyes out by himself in the woods in the rain because he lost his mother again, and even after everything he’s been through, he still doesn’t feel he is allowed to be vulnerable in front of people, because he stopped being allowed to cry the *first* time his mother died and took his childhood with her. Coming after my *favorite* television character of all time who has not gotten nearly the number of hugs he needs over the course of his life with writing designed to cast him in such an unsympathetic light after everything he’s been through is not going to make me feel sympathy for a (I repeat) SIDE CHARACTER who was made instant family strictly to manipulate the audience. It will, however, make me want to smash my television and not even bother watching the finale and just pick the show back up with the season 15 premiere.

    And anyone who suddenly thinks Dean’s a monster for this needs to go back and rewatch the pilot. They need to watch the bridge scene, when Sam says, “Mom’s gone, and she isn’t coming back,” and watch Dean’s reaction. He was 26 and the wound from when he was 4 hadn’t healed at all. It was fresh, open, and bleeding. This is the second time in his life that all that has been left of his mother was a pile of ash. No wonder the Js don’t want this show to keep going when Dabb’s using the story to make the audience care more about a character who’s been on the show for two flipping years than our heroes, who have both lived through *literal* hell in the time we’ve been blessed to have them on our television screens, and turn on the brothers. It’s manipulative, bad writing, and a middle finger to everything these characters have been through and everything the actors have given to this show.

    • I’m with you on wanting to sweep up Dean and take him to a place of safety, I’m really worried about him, he’s not only lost his mom horribly a second time, but any hope of a brighter future went with her, he let Jack in , he tried to learn from his mistakes, made an effort to support Sam and not jump in impetuously, he tried to contain Michael and everything blew up in his face. I get why he’s gone backwards and is weeping alone, he’s reverted to old habits out of a basic survival instinct, it’s not healthy, maybe he’s acting ruthless, but , right or wrong , it’s all he has to keep him going.

    • Good grief you are a true fan. It’s clear how much you care about this show and these characters. I’m sorry you’re in so much pain over these last few seasons. It’s tough when TPTB make poor decisions. I don’t know Andrew Dabb and have only seen him in panels. He clearly has some issues but I don’t believe he has steered the Show wrong. It’s hard to keep a show fresh this long. I just hope they don’t paint it into a corner where death of Sam and Dean is The only possible ending. Miami Vice wrote themselves Into a no where to go place before it died. Countless shows can’t seem to invent new plot twists to keep an older show fresh. As Harvey Korman replied to a question about using Viagra. That’s like putting a flagpole on a condemned building. Cut TPTB a little slack.

      • You say I’m a true fan like it’s an insult. And then tell me to cut TPTB some slack. And compare this show to something that was struggling and long in the tooth before Dabb took over. News flash – it wasn’t. Supernatural was just fine at the closing of the Carver era. The British Men of Letters had been introduced and could have been used to really explore humanity as evil without deciding that Lucifer needed to have a kid, Mary had just been brought back and her character hadn’t yet been fully assassinated, for the first time in YEARS we didn’t have an apocalypse on the horizon, they could have gone in any number of directions to breathe new life into the show, and instead Dabb showed up with his hard-on for Mark Pelligrino and inability to stay off of Twitter and within a single season of him taking over we lost Crowley (a loss the show has never recovered from) and now even though Lucifer is finally, MERCIFULLY dead we can’t be rid of him! If you are content watching Sam and Dean Winchester be reduced to mere shells of the phenomenal characters they were before Dabb took over you have every right to do so, just as I have every right to declare the people running this show into the ground to be incompetent hacks who shouldn’t have been allowed to pass a script writing 101 course and should be required to take remedial courses over the summer.

      • awesome thoughts and insight Mer. I totally agree with you. I know that S15 will be the last, and that hurts, but what hurts more is that I feel like if it wasn’t for the horrible writing, we would still be getting more spn after S15. the Js love their characters and are very protective of them. and always said that if the stories were there, they would continue, and I totally believed that they meant it. They just didn’t anticipate what would happen, how their characters would become so OOC and not even work together in most episodes. It probably become no fun anymore. I remember at JIBCON when Dabb took over, Jensen made a comment about it and hoped that we would be okay with it. It was like he knew. and I felt like he was not totally comfortable about it. That always stuck in my mind, because I remember having a bad feeling. And now I know why. It’s a travesty. I know its ‘just a tv show’, but I have lived with these characters for 14 years. They are a part of my life and it hurts that these actors were not respected by TPTB.

    • I saw a blessedly small amount of out and out Dean hate or Sam hate on my various timelines, for which I count my blessings. But I do resent the current story arc for putting Sam and Dean in a position where we were clearly supposed to NOT see them as the heroes of their own story. That’s the difference between this version of Show- breaks-your-heart and previous versions. Before my heart was broken entirely for the Winchesters – now the heart break (for me) is for them but also clearly supposed to be for Jack too. And for some people, apparently the heart break was ALL for Jack, which sets up the Winchesters as villains instead of heroes. I am so very very not okay with that. Jensen’s amazing scene in the woods didn’t have the impact it should have because it was quickly sandwiched in between so many other scenes pulling us to sympathize not with Dean, but with Jack. So yeah, I feel you. And I hadn’t even explicitly thought about Emma, though I would put that into the other times that I didn’t agree with what one of them did and it made me sick to my stomach. Urgh. Now I feel worse.

      • The way Jack’s “origin story” followed Emma’s to a T is honestly what has made it so hard for me to give two flying figs about him. As soon as Sam was all, “We have to help him, he’s just a kid, he’s not necessarily going to turn bad,” it soured the entirety of Season 13 for me, because Emma was 3 freakin’ days old and has been tossed into the heap of, “But she was a monster!” She hadn’t done *ONE SINGLE THING* besides threaten Dean with a knife – a trained hunter who was armed with a gun. And he was trying to talk her down. And then when Sam burst in she flashed a scary face at him, and got shot in the back when she turned back to Dean. The idea that the audience was supposed to see this incredibly dangerous being, who we knew was going to be more powerful than the angel that sired him (think about that – more powerful than LUCIFER), as this sweet little thing to be coddled and loved because one of the brothers wanted to give him a chance and the other one didn’t when that *literally happened* with a much less powerful being who was actually Dean’s child (the only one he’s ever going to have) and it ended up with Dean’s child dead, not coddled in the bunker and indulged with sugary cereal, just…infuriated me.

        And even that could have been fixed! If when Sam was trying to convince Dean that they should take care of Jack last season he had just said, “I was wrong about Emma. I don’t want to make that mistake again,” I would have been *golden* with this whole story line. I would have gone, “Ooooh…well played, Dabb. You’ve actually been purposely hauling up all of my uncomfortable feelings around the whole child created under dubious consent between a human and non-human issue that’s been really bothering me all of season 12 so that you can show us that Sam is trying to not repeat something that left LOTS of us feeling really not okay. I am on board with this.” Instead they repurposed a particularly ugly episode in the show’s history and Dabb simply went, “But this time we want you to like the kid, so we’re going to make Dean look like an ass for not immediately accepting him, and Sam (the character that’s like John) will throw out the ridiculous line about Dean being like John when it’s been established since season 1 that Sam is like John because you don’t remember that anyway, right? That was before me, it doesn’t matter.” It had me digging my heels in when it came to Jack and made Dabb’s manipulation of the audience even more stark and galling, and the way it culminated in this episode just makes me want to punch something. Maybe if Dabb wanted to show that SPN is female friendly he could have acknowledged that he was replaying a story that ended badly when it was about a girl (who was ACTUALLY A WINCHESTER) instead of investing so much time in Wayward Sisters last season that he didn’t manage to write a coherent story for SPN, with this mess of a season being the end result of him *clearly* thinking, “Well, I’ll be handing it off next season anyway once they pick up Wayward.” Were I a conspiracy theorist I’d suspect he destroyed this show on purpose because he’s pissed CW didn’t pick up his original series. It’s the only thing that makes any sense of why he would think *this* was a good direction to take the Show.

    • I did a little research. Bucklemming wrote s7’s “The Slice Girls” and they wrote S12 “LOTUS” (the episode where Kelly gets pregnant). So it’s Bucklemming recycling their own plot ideas (with Dabb’s approval). I never drew the parallel between Emmma and Jack so thanks for pointing that out. Now knowing Bucklemming are repeating their own scripts only makes me dislike their work even more.

      • I knew they wrote The Slice Girls (repeating, “Bucklemming wrote it, they don’t understand the characters” was one of my soothing techniques to forgive Sam for literally shooting a kid in the back). I did not realize they wrote LOTUS. The Dastardly Duo have been sucking since Route 666. Just goes to show that they REALLY should not have made it past the first season, and nepotism sucks.

      • I didn’t totally hate Route 666, Dean did at least get a moment to cherish in his sad life and got the only closure he’s likely to ever get with Cassie. Most other things about it were daft though! Ghosts Trucks, bah!

      • Bucklemming are very weak writers. Even in the few eps they have written that I haven’t COMPLETELY hated, the storylines and dialogue never seem to “flow” properly. I try to explain this to my friends but people never seem to get what I mean!

      • It’s obvious at times two people write the episode and they split in half, somehow it never meets in the middle. I get you😃

    • Mer…I’m definitely more a lurker than poster, but I just have to tell you that I always want to stand and applaud every time I read your comments!

      You put so well into words a lot of what I feel every week. Thank you!!

    • I agree. I’m so tired of Jack taking over the show. I like him, and I have enjoyed the naivety and innocence that he has brought, but I don’t show up to watch Jack’s story. I’m still plugging through, but I just don’t really care whether he lives or dies at this point. Good comparison to Emma. I hadn’t thought about it that way.

      I always thought Dean got way too much flack for killing Amy Pond. It was exactly the same situation as with Jack. Amy was killing people, and as a mother, if her son got sick again, she WOULD kill more people. Some of the people she killed had made poor choices, and some were pretty monstrous, but did they really deserve to die? Even Sam eventually agreed that Dean had made the right choice.

      Same thing with Jack. He is killing people, whether he knows it’s wrong or not, and that makes him even more dangerous because he doesn’t know what’s right or wrong. Nothing they said to Jack was technically a lie. Most likely, he would have stayed safe in the box until they could find a cure. Did Jack really think it would only take a couple of hours?

      Also, I honestly don’t think that Lucifer is a hallucination. I think when they used Jack’s blood to access the empty, it formed a link to Lucifer. He’s too manipulative to be coming from Jack’s mind.

      • The Amy Pond thing still gets under my skin with the way it portrayed Dean as being wrong. “Oh, she was just killing people because her son was sick! She promised to stop now that he’s better!” As you say, my IMMEDIATE response was, “And what happens the next time her son gets sick? What gives her the right to decide that someone who’s made bad decisions should die so her son can live?” And she was just a kitsune. It has been hammered into us the kind of power Jack wields. Even in this episode it was made crystal clear just how deadly he is. We just found out in the last episode that he reduced Mary to ash by accident because she was upsetting him! He has no control, he has no soul, he is being guided by entities that do not have humanity’s best interests at heart, and he has basically limitless powers. He absorbed a freakin’ archangel, for god’s sake! And it’s not like they went all the way through with Dean’s plan for when HE was going to get in the box and dropped Jack in the Pacific. They kept him in the bunker. That’s a pretty good indicator to me that this wasn’t their “final solution” to the problem, it was just what they needed to do right this second to stop Jack from killing people who were pissing him off. To see people turning on the brothers for doing the logical, responsible thing – even if they manipulated and lied to Jack in the process – makes me wonder what show they’ve been watching, and and how they missed all the talk about how dangerous Jack might turn out to be.

      • Sometimes right or wrong is your own perspective, Cas I believe even said that once. The level of brutality that was introduced by Billie in suggesting anyone should be locked away , buried alive for ever is awful. Death has always had a cruel side, making Dean play his role for the day, making him condemn his brother to the Pit for all time, asking him to be the one to kill his own brother in exchange for getting him off the board when he had the Mark of Cain. Shockingly cruel, you could argue it was necessary for Dean to be taught to think with more care about the consequences of his actions, that Sam was the only one capable of dragging Lucifer into the pit, that Dean with the Mark needed to be stopped, but not that way. Death is massively powerful, ancient and knows probably more than God in this universe, yet seems to quite enjoy hurting vulnerable people. I don’t believe Jack is the only problem being, feels like there is something bigger brewing . I struggled to attach to Jack, his presence felt devicive at first, artificially causing discord, I began to like him because I finally thought he’d been a gift to the brothers to explore their better selves, I liked it gave them a chance to experience fatherhood , now I’m not so sure. Has he actually been manipulating everyone and is actually more his biological father’s son than we were lulled into thinking ? Oh moral dilemmas, I think I’ve just talked myself into a massive grey area?

    • Thank you!!! I don’t get this fandoms obsession with jack. Jack has been round for only two seasons and he’s being treated more favourably than dean who we have lived with for the past 14 years. Surely he deserves come loyalty from this so called spn family. Jack is killing innocent people yet dean is somehow the evil monster who has manipulated poor widdle sammy, who for some reason doesn’t think it’s a problem that jack is killing people. I remember when this show was about saving people

      • I am furious both at the way the fandom is turning on Dean (not that that’s anything new, but this level of vitriol is mind-boggling) and infantilizing Sam at the same time. Sam is not a ten year old being bossed around by his forty year old brother! Sam is a grown freakin’ man! If you count how long Sam’s soul was in the cage and how long Dean was in Hell, Sam is OLDER than Dean! Don’t give me this whole, “Dean manipulated Sam!” crap.

        No he didn’t. All of Sam’s objections were in the form of, “How are we going to keep him from figuring it out?” Sam recognizes Jack’s dangerous, and yeah, he may not like the idea of the Ma’lak box, but his push back on Dean came from a place of fear of Jack, and not from a place of disagreeing that Jack had to be dealt with. People need to stop thinking Sam is some kind of pre-teen girl incapable of standing up for himself in the face of big, bad Dean.

      • Sam’s his own man, Dean pointed that out in Scarecrow how much he admired his brother for standing up to John and how he wished he could do the same. People have their own views, that’s their right, but maybe it would be a good thing to rewatch the early days to see how it was mostly brother’s disagreeing as siblings do in a normal way, it’s only natural they won’t see eye to eye, on all things, but it never felt to me Sam couldn’t take care of himself , he even started Dean on the path to breaking free of John’s black and white conditioning, remember Lenore? If anything Dean was the one being pressured all the time by John. take care of your little brother, he even asked the unspeakable that Dean should stop Sam, the person John knew Dean loved more than anything, so wrong. I’m not hating John , but hating what he did to his boys.

      • Exactly. This idea that some members of the fandom have latched onto that somehow Sam is an abused wife constantly being manipulated by Dean is absurd and insulting to the character. Sam is *not* some weak little woobie who needs to be protected from his overbearing, abusive older brother. He’s a trained, deadly hunter who can take care of himself, and who has *never* just bent over backwards to the way Dean wants to do things if he really, genuinely doesn’t want to do them.

      • Neither do I believe Dean to be manipulative , he’s impulse and reactionary, governed by his heart, that isn’t something that sits with being a manipulator .

      • I think there are far too many younger viewers who have confused the idea of someone being decisive as the same thing as them being manipulative. Dean takes action and does so quickly when he knows he needs to because for most of his life needing to make quick decisions has been the difference between life and death – whether his, Sam’s, or someone else’s. Getting someone to agree, “We have to do something *right now* and this is the best option” is in no way synonymous with manipulating them. If Sam had been able to come up with something better right that second than the Ma’lak box, Dean absolutely would have heard him out. He didn’t have something better, so he agreed to Dean’s plan.

      • Agreed, Dean is a man of action, never had luxury to sit and wait for someone else to take action, since childhood he’s had to make many decisions because John wasn’t around or because Sam was at risk, “Something Wicked” showcased that perfectly, the guilt Dean carried into adulthood for his wish to be a child for just a moment, it almost cost him dear , he blamed himself when really his dad should have been there. Why John didn’t just drop them with Bobby when he was hunting a soul sucking monster with a fondness for kids puzzled me, he was always happy to drop them off other times . Arrgh hurts my heart and head just thinking abot it.

      • I have always suspected John used them as bait, even if it was just subconsciously. Otherwise how could he have been *right there* when the soul eater was trying to get Sam? It was awfully coincidental. It may not have been a specific plan that he hatched and something he just decided would be “more convenient,” but he could have driven them to Pastor Jim’s and didn’t really have a reason to wait (that we know of) until after Sam had been attacked.

      • Maybe giving him some slack, it was wrong place wrong time and John took advantage of it with no regard, or at least the belief it would not be able to hurt them as he was around,?? after all he did that when Dean begged him for help in “Home” he hung back at Missouri Mosley’s home in case. John was complex and damaged in many ways, I worry for Dean , there are a lot of parallels that are scary, how easy it would be to completely lose himself, he’s fought so hard to become his own person, to pull himself up to be a person who he can look at in the mirror , I pray that he doesn’t go down that road , I’m holding tight to what Bobby said about Dean being a better man than his Dad, Bobby was about the only longer term positive adult influence in Dean’s young life and was the person who remembered he was just a kid, he was also wise enough to see what Dean could be and taught him as best he could, when he could. I miss real Bobby now….

      • Oh I don’t think if John used them as bait that it was a conscious decision. He didn’t look at his kids and go, “You know…they’re the right age…” But he also didn’t spend much time worrying over whether his two children were going to be safe or thinking much about whether it was a good idea to leave them alone while he went off and hunted something targeting children. And the way he reacted to Dean leaving Sam, with so much anger directed at Dean and the disappointment apparently lasting for years, said he *knew* there was an explicit danger to them, so there was no excuse for him to have them in the first place, other than some part of him deep down whispered, “What could go wrong?” I understand Jeffrey Dean Morgan being protective of the character, but John never called back when Sam called to say Dean was dying but “not to worry because he’d figure something out” (Sam was a 22 year old kid in charge of figuring out how to not let his brother die), nor did he ever call back when Dean called him crying in “Home.” Oh, sure, he came and lurked from a distance to see how they were doing, but he never offered Dean any kind of emotional support. John may have loved his sons, but he was a terrible parent who absolutely did not do the best he could. The best he could would have been leaving them with Bobby at least during the school year. I agree with you about Real!Bobby. All AU!Bobby has done is make me realize just how desperately I still miss him. He’s like a dollar store knock-off of a Barbie doll. Nothing is inherently wrong with him, but he sure ain’t the real thing.

      • Yes John missed parenting 101, always , always call your kid’s back, even if you trust they are capable and strong( I think in part when they got older he hung back because he’d begun to believe they were capable) Dean begging was a HUGE warning sign , Dean doesn’t ask for help lightly and as for not even calling Sam back when Dean was dying was hard to take, never been able to rationalize that one. Bobby was the best surrogate Dad, he did value they boys and never stopped showing them, don’t get me wrong, he was no walk over, he had words when they needed a talking to, but they knew he was there for them. I love Jim Beaver, but AU Bobby didn’t fill the void left behind by our Bobby

  • I think this is one of the reasons, or the main reason that season 15 will be the last.
    When we got the renewal message for S15 the J’s said they wanted to keep going as long as there was still a good story to tell. Apparently it isn’t anymore.
    So now S15 is the last.
    OT: I haven’t seen an official message that S15 will be 20 episodes. I’m hoping for 22 as it *is* the last season.

  • Sam technically “locked” himself into a box for what he believed would be all eternity when he jumped into the cage back at the end of season 5. The Winchester’s have been willing to make terrible decisions for themselves if it means the safety of the world.

  • Poor Emma, she’s become the elephant in the room, I bet Dean still has nightmares about her, calling for her Dad to protect her, despite outward appearance otherwise, she’s another person whose death he has born responsibility for with dignity and no fuss

    • Giving a callback to Emma would be a great way not only to acknowledge that this isn’t the first time the brothers have been down the path of dealing with a half-monster kid, but signalling to the audience that Dabb is, in fact, aware that previous seasons of the show exist, given how much canon he’s completely overwritten or straight-up ignored. But when it comes to Dabb acknowledging an elephant in a room, his response is, “What elephant? Never heard of one. Is that some kind of fish?”

  • Kripke most likely won’t be back to write the finale. I had opportunity to meet him in March about a week before the end of the show announcement. I asked him when Supernatural comes to an end would he get any say in how it ends or would he write it. He said he’d love to but he now works for Sony and Supernatural is Warner Bros. So he didn’t know if it would be possible. I’m sure he already knew the show was ending when I asked this question. My hope is that he’ll reach out to someone who will listen and give them his thoughts. I don’t even want to contemplate Dabb writing a series finale. Actually, I didn’t think there’s a writer in the current staff that I do trust with such an important task.

    • You could be on to something with your idea, more I think about it, cannot imagine him being ok to let go without some involvement, but being discreet about it , as for writers I really liked Dan Knauf who wrote Something Wicked and John Shiban who wrote Skin , Hookman and teleplay for Scarecrow, they I would trust to do. scary, emotional and keep in character

      • None of the people you listed work on the show anymore. I don’t see them bringing in/back old writers for the last season. Unfortunately, I think we’re stuck with the current roster. I hope I’m wrong.

      • You are right I’m sure those writers are doing other things, but given how much love this show seems to have in the hearts of its ex employees, perhaps a more experienced ex writer will reach out with ideas and support for the newer writers, its a hefty burden to close off a much loved show that has interwoven massively complex stories. I think there is potential among them, but they need a hand. I’m a bit of a dreamer maybe but they have an opportunity to pull off something really special , fingers crossed. I’m determined to keep the faith and not get down at this point, I will keep open mind and wait to see.

      • I think what happens in the finale and who they choose to write the season premiere next fall will give us an idea of the quality of the final season. If they default to Dabb after how badly he botched last season’s finale, this season’s premiere, and the disjointed mess of the 300th episode, without the finale being something that knocks everyone’s socks off, I thinl we will sadly have a pretty good indicator of how the final season will go.

      • A great finale is absolutely key to everything falling into place, I’m reaching for that magic wish pebble as we speak and holding it tight to the end. I will not accept that it’s not possible to put something great together, especially when you consider back in S1 they were unsure of any future, they managed a spectacular first run out with a Season finale that still shakes me, EVERY FREAKIN TIME, and trust me in the years since , I’ve seen it so many times. Please keep on speaking your mind Mer , I’m guessing we may not always agree on everything, l’m the sort of person who mulls things over endlessly , searching for reasoning and justification, even when I’m probably wrong, as you may have guessed this week , you speak from the heart which I respect , debate and discussion is good for the mind and soul, we will always have our love for the show and for Dean and Sam in common. Thank you for taking time to read my posts😃

      • I like Davy Perez’s scripts. And Robert Berens’ too. Although I’m pretty sure I just misspelled their names. They could write more and skip “those two writers that no one likes”.

  • I always come to the review party a few days late, but thankyou Lynn for a great review. I think the Show would benefit from having you on staff as a consultant – maybe keep the boys true to character a little more from a psych perspective. And thankyou Mer for voicing my rage, about many things. I have often thought of Emma when other ‘monsters’ have been given a second chance, or even just the thought of a second chance.
    A few thoughts of mine on this episode to get off my chest, – can I add my complaints about these particular writers?!.
    On the idea of Jack ‘making angels’…. wasn’t it established back with Houses of the Holy, that humans could never be Angels? God created angels from scratch – not from recycled human souls.
    And while I appreciate Jim Beaver making an appearance as much as anyone, the appearance of Bobby (and his hatchet) seemed disjointed from the rest of the episode. Like it was either a time filler, or there was more of a story there that was edited to the bone, so much so it probably should have been cut altogther. WTF indeed.
    Cas, I dont know how to feel about Cas anymore. It feels like he is inserted into the story at great effort sometimes, and no one, including the cast, have any idea how much mojo he will have from episode to episode. Pretty eyes, yes, but I can’t see a close up of Misha without wishing someone would hand him a chapstick. A great deal has been made of the powering of Heaven, and not many angels being left alive, but that doesn’t stop them being killed off regularly. Bye Dumah.
    What was with worm dude? Has anyone, ever, outside of a mummy movie, seen someone bandaged like that? Did they call in a 10 year old that day to help out? Hang on, that’s insulting to 10 year olds.
    So to quit my bitching, I found this episode so confronting what with Dean and Sam’s grief, not quite knowing what exactly Jack is supposed to be feeling – or not feeling, and that damned box. (hello claustrophobia!) I cannot find it believable that Jack, even being baby Jack who has no clue, would step into that box with such little convincing.
    I have been afraid for a while they were building up to Jack being the big bad for next season, sadly. And now I think Mark Pellegrino is along for the ride. Nothing against Mark, he plays Lucifer beautifully, but I am sooooooo over Lucifer.
    Oh for Kripke to have input for season 15 !

    • Mmm, worm guy, nasty treatment of a believer and Dumah allowed that so she deserved to be taken off the playing field in a way, although I’d not have recommended killing her. I put down to heat of the moment overreaction. It was rife that episode. It made me think, now you mention worm guy, I wondered if it was sort of a symbolic parallel to the grief eating at Dean?

    • It kind of drove me crazy that they used earthworms to eat his flesh. I’m pretty sure that biblical passage is actually talking about maggots. Earthworms couldn’t eat through someone if they tried. Another weird choice. Oh, well. Poor earthworms.

    • “Cas, I dont know how to feel about Cas anymore. It feels like he is inserted into the story at great effort sometimes, and no one, including the cast, have any idea how much mojo he will have from episode to episode.” > I agree with you Deb. this is exactly how I have felt about this character for years now. it irks me to have him in the scene. why oh why, was he standing beside Dean and Sam when they eulogized Mary. not looking for hate, but he is the most useless character and I am so damn tired of the whole angel storyline. I tune in for Dean and Sam and it kills me that they have been separated for most of the season and onscreen for at most 5 minutes each episode. This is why they decided to end it after S15. It was probably no fun to go to work anymore and I could have written the stories better. I know canon and Dabb just ignores it. sorry for ranting

      • Let me buy you a drink! I cringe now whenever Cas is on screen. He hasn’t had a story for *years.* It’s not hate on the character, it’s just a fact! I know a lot of people still love him, but he adds nothing to the story, what abilities he still possesses rely entirely on what the plot needs to accomplish without any concern for consistency, and he detracts from moments that should be about *the brothers.* Like Sam and Dean’s car scene when Sam didn’t want to put Dean in the box, or Mary’s funeral. I don’t care how long he’s been on this show, he detracted from the story of the BROTHERS, which we’ve gotten so little of this season! I am sure the fact that the Js have barely gotten to work together this year was a big factor in choosing to end the show. I can’t imagine being torn away from my scene partner of *13 years* who I know so well by now I can practically read his thoughts and stuck with other people in a story that isn’t even about my character – one of the two MAIN CHARACTERS – anymore. It’s like splitting up a pair of champion ballroom dancers who have been together over a decade, sticking them with new partners out of nowhere and telling them to make it work. I am positive that when Jensen and Jared said they wanted more time off this season they didn’t mean, “From working together.”

    • “And while I appreciate Jim Beaver making an appearance as much as anyone, the appearance of Bobby (and his hatchet) seemed disjointed from the rest of the episode. Like it was either a time filler, or there was more of a story there that was edited to the bone, so much so it probably should have been cut altogther. WTF indeed.”
      From what I understand these particular writers don’t allow their scripts to be edited. I think that is why they seem so all over the place, canon trashing and character destroying. For whatever reason Jim was available for half a day so they inserted him in as the AU hunters rep who are going to hunt Jack down (like they have any idea how to deal with him).
      “I have been afraid for a while they were building up to Jack being the big bad for next season, sadly”
      I had the opposite feeling. I think TPTB have known for a few months that the show was ending next season (Jensen kind of confirmed that in LV). I think that is why Michael suddenly escaped, Jack consumed his grace and the box was destroyed. I am guessing they wanted to wrap up Jacks story this season so they could focus on the brothers for the final season….just a guess.

      • Hope you’re right be good to have Sam and Dean back on the road, doing their thing and having a bit of brother time .

      • I hope that’s what happens. Concentrate on the brothers. Take out all the extra people (Castiel included-get him to take over heaven or something and then the Empty gets him) Get rid of Jack, Nick, not-Bobby, and all the excess AU people. “It begins and ends with the brothers”. Or have we forgotten that?

    • I forgot all about the crazy mummy-like bandaging lol. There was so much to complain about, that slid right under my radar. Sometimes lately I feel like the Show just wants to toss in some “cool” horror things to make everyone go “ewww”. As though that was ever what the Show was about :/ Oh for Kripke indeed!

  • I also didn’t really enjoy this episode. However, part of that is because I’m just not very interested in this current story-line. For the first time, I have absolutely no excitement for a season finale. I keep forgetting that it’s happening this week because I just really couldn’t care. I mean, I like Jack, but I like him as a side character. I watch the show for Dean and his story-lines.Dean and Sam have no story-line right now. Am I still bitter about Michael? Why yes I am, thank you for asking. If this season finale was involving Michael and defeating him, I would have been very excited. However, the fact that they are taking all of Sam and Dean’s previous story-lines and giving them to Jack right now is rather irritating to me.

    Remember that time that Sam had hallucinations of Lucifer? Let’s give them to Jack. Remember when Sam had no soul? Let’s give that to Jack. Remember when Dean was going to be locked in the box? Let’s give that to Jack, except let’s counter everything we said about the Ma’lak box being able to contain everything in creation and allow Jack to blow it up after twenty minutes.

    When I saw the episode title a few weeks ago, I thought, “Wow, I really hope they didn’t just give us a huge spoiler with their title. I hope that this doesn’t mean they’re going to put Jack in the Ma’lak box during that episode because that would make me so mad.”

    I had hoped that the writers weren’t going to go the obvious route, but shame on me. Fool me once, and all that.

    To be perfectly honest, Jack’s story-line over the last three seasons has been the only coherent (if predictable) story-line that Supernatural currently has going for it. At least it all tied together and had time and development. Sam’s leadership, Dean’s Michael arc, the Men of Letters, alternate-world and alternate-world hunters have all be poorly contrived and dropped.

    I was so hopeful for this season. I thought that it might be my all-time favorite season. However, though it did have episodes that I really enjoyed, I really am not happy with the direction that they’re taking the story. As you said, we’ve always been able to see the Winchesters as heroes, though occasionally with understandable, but poor decisions. Though they are making the same decisions, for the same reasons, the direction of the last two episodes is trying to make you feel for Jack, and because the focus is on Jack the Winchesters seem like awful monsters. Dean deceived Sam to get him into Bobby’s panic room, but it was completely understandable. Sam’s soul was missing, but if Dean couldn’t get it back, he was fully prepared to kill the shell of his brother. No one thought he was a monster then, because Sam was acting horrifically.

    What’s up with Jack, by the way? He certainly doesn’t seem soulless. He’s been showing way too much emotion. My husband pointed out that when angels lose their grace, they become human. So, if Jack loses his soul, shouldn’t he just be an angel now? Is that why he still has emotion? However, borrowed grace eventually fades, so shouldn’t he be getting weaker? Are we forgetting that part of canon?

    Does canon even exist anymore?

    • Thinking the only cannon now is the one Jack carries around with him to blow up metal boxes 😃 Maybe that’s what Jensen was talking about with iconic images thing!

      • Ha ha ha. You are probably right. Now I’ve got a mental image of Jack with a cannon strapped to his shoulder. “Grace deteriorating when stolen? Not on my watch!” he says, as he blows a hole through canon with his cannon.

        Thank you for that. 🙂

      • the ‘iconic image’ that Jensen was talking about were the initials in the table. they added MW. the table with just DW and SW is the iconic image. it broke my heart that they defiled it by adding MW

      • My jaw dropped when I saw her initials on the table. If nothing else this season had convinced me that the people currently writing for the show DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE SHOW, that alone would have done it.

    • I’m with you on every single word of this. I was so looking forward to this season. I was SO excited for Michael!Dean. After how disappointed I was in Season 13 (which now looks like Shakespeare wrote it when compared to the mess of this season) I was bouncing on my toes waiting to see Jensen in a whole new character, and I was eagerly counting down the days over the hiatus until the show returned.

      And then Michael!Dean had maybe five minutes of screen time in the disaster of a season premiere and was out of Dean by the second episode, and it has been downhill from there. Which, frankly, I wouldn’t have thought it possible for the season to get *worse* after how the opening was botched, but by golly, Dabb managed it, because he turned this into the JACK show. The Michael!Dean arc was just a prop to get to Jack’s soulless arc – not something that was there to do anything to develop Dean or Sam’s character. The AU hunters were *literally* filler for when they couldn’t use Jack in an episode because Alex is a regular, not a lead. Even Jack’s death, which *should* have allowed for more character growth for Sam especially, was used as a plot device to get us to where Jack no longer had a soul, as opposed to giving us any insight into Sam or Dean and how they feel about losing a child (though that’s old ground for Dean between having to walk away from Ben and then Emma dying in front of him). Rowena wasn’t looped in for the boys except in the service of helping Jack not die.

      I’m not here for Jack. I’m here for Dean and Sam. Which Dabb has misinterpreted as me being here for Dean and Sam propping up Jack at the sake of their characters, them having *any* kind of story that doesn’t revolve around Jack, and throwing away all kinds of canon – frequently within a few episodes of said canon being established. “Oh, as long as Sam and Dean are *in* the episodes, that will be enough” is clearly his mentality. Never mind whether they are *in character* in said episodes, or get to – god forbid! – TALK to each other, so long as they make an appearance we’re supposed to be good with it. I actually don’t care about the finale at all, and have only been watching the last few episodes out of habit and not because I’m excited at all for what’s going on with the show.

      Because I watch Supernatural for Dean and Sam. And Dabb doesn’t want Supernatural to be about Dean and Sam anymore. That makes me angry and bitter and there are enough things in the world to make me angry and bitter without my FAVORITE show souring my mood every week. Though I will at least give Dabb credit where credit is due. I was *crushed* when they announced that season 15 would be the last season, but now I can’t thank the Js enough for stepping in and ending Supernatural when there’s still a chance they can make sure their characters leave our TV screens with a little bit of dignity intact. TPTB clearly have no interest in replacing Dabb, and if Jensen and Jared hadn’t said, “Enough,” I don’t doubt for a second he would have continued hacking away at this beautiful show until there was literally nothing left to salvage.

      • I feel like shows lose themselves as soon as the writers stop caring about their main characters and begin to explore other characters at the expense of the ones that people originally fell in love with. Grimm (spoiler alert) had the same problem in Season 4 when they introduced an ultra powerful child who stole all the story-lines and eliminated Nick’s progress as a character. Percy Jackson, the second book series, (spoiler alert) did the same thing when all of the build up to Percy’s biggest weakness was dropped like a hot potato and never covered in favor of new characters saving the day instead. I watch the show for characters and nothing upsets me more than good and proper build up of characters being dropped because writers find new characters “more interesting.”

        I’m not interested. I’m watching the show for the character or characters that I fell in love with.

        I agree with what you are saying in regards to the show ending. So many people are mourning the end of the show, and I just can’t because I’m still mourning the Michael story-line. I want to love the show and the current story arch, but I just can’t muster much excitement. Everything I was excited for was killed. I have (almost) no faith in these writers.

        However, I will still watch until the end and hope that things will improve. I’m also now watching the new episodes with a new friend I made, and she’s still excited, so I’m trying to curb my sorrow and find things to enjoy.

        I had to quit twitter though. Everyone is so angry.

      • Wow rdmagua, we have more in common, I too made many new friends and contacts and spoken to such nice people through our show, it’s totally changed my life and I’m not planning on letting that change go, we would probably have such fun!

      • For all my anger at the moment, I will absolutely stay with Sam and Dean until the bitter end.

        Still, I grow more concerned with every passing episode (and the fact that they haven’t booted Dabb) that it will LITERALLY be a bitter end. And I don’t want the last time I see the Winchesters in an original episode to leave me bitter. I’m already finding ways to justify to myself that the series ended with season 11.

      • Mer, you made some great points! Like all of us I am a huge fan, and have been very forgiving over the years over episodes and story arcs I didn’t care for, but this season has just gone too far. I totally agree with you about the mistake Dabb made in killing the Michael storyline too quickly (and I thought the finale of 13 was so bold and original, to FINALLY kill off Lucifer and bring back the storyline of Dean as Michael’s true vessel. It felt like a full circle, cathartic moment, and we all know how that turned out). I like Jack, but the core of the show is the brothers and when TPTB forget that they are doomed to fail.
        For the past several weeks I have stopped looking forward to the new episodes too because so often this season I have been a let down. These rotten episodes leave me in a terrible mood too, ruin the whole evening! I didn’t love seasons 11 (except for Chuck/god’s return) and 12, but for me, 14 has been the worst season ever, and that is saying A LOT, because as I said I am always very hopeful and forgiving about the show. They CAN turn this ship around if they try, and I am trying to stay hopeful but it’s hard.

      • Everyone needs to start calling Dabb “Icarus” because he’s truly flown too close to the sun with this Jack story line. He spent too much time listening to the very active, VERY small portion of the fan base on Twitter for whom Cas is their favorite character and decided that people would totally love to see the show focus more on side characters, and what better side character to focus on than the one he created because he’s soooooo awesome and creative and creatively awesome? Never mind the fact that Cas has been on the show for a *decade* and has actually earned his fan base, who do not actually represent the majority of fans, who wouldn’t be caught dead on Twitter. To have introduced a brand new character and made only the second season in which this new character appeared about *him* (after he was gone for half of the first season he was in) and how Sam and Dean’s lives now revolve around *him* and how they’re willing to do stupid things (like burning off his soul) and be all kinds of out of character (like BURNING OFF HIS SOUL) in regards to *him* when they’ve put in *none* of the work to actually establish their close relationship with him? Dean comes back from being possessed and just starts hanging out with Jack all the time while Sam goes off without even bothering to tell Dean where he’s going, just leaving a note? As if either of them would EVER not call the other to say, “Going to see mom”???

        They should have changed the name of this show for this season from “Supernatural” to “Hubris,” because the writing has been absolutely plagued by it since the premiere.

    • There’s the question in a nutshell! I wonder if the last season will truly get back to being a story about Sam and Dean. If it doesn’t, it will be terribly sad to see the Show end being about someone else :/

  • Sorry about the whole ‘cannon” thing , just wanted to lighten the mood but it’s hard isnt, it? I have honestly never aired so many of my views so often and so loudly, I’m very fiercely protective of these beautiful, fragile, yet strong characters who are so real and I feel your pain. I get budget and time constraints, I hand wave the things that don’t offend and try to be realistic about Jared and Jensen’s ability to sustain the heaviest work schedule on pretty much any show, past or present, but this episode brought out my inner Tiger mom. Please show, pull it together, let our Guys have a brighter future.

    • Exactly. I understand that some people are really enjoying this season, and I’m happy for them, but I wish they could understand that the reason that so many of us are angry is because we care so much. Everyone watches for different reasons, and I can excuse or explain a lot of things in my head, but lately it’s been getting harder to do because of direct contradictions to established canon.

      I appreciate the humor. It’s good to be able to laugh about things.

      • We are all at least United in the fact that no matter our views or particular characters prefences, here on this site and the other sites I visit, we were all greatly affected by this episode, we, as a whole , seemed to have be distressed and in conflict about the whole thing, where ever you stand, who’s ever view or corner you stand in. I’m no fan of conflict, we all have some common ground, at least some of the time, so let’s roll with that and try to keep each other smiling as much as we can, because we all love this show 🤗

  • Thank you for sharing. You ve used you writing talent to express what I too feel. We are all so going to miss Sam & Dean terribly this time next year. Ketch should have been part of Mary’s funeral. Everyone did a sterling job. Some of those lines I felt the sting of aimed at fandom. Don’t like the portrayal of Chuck but then I’m still not 100% sold it really is him. No matter what comes I’ll be there at the end. The fear of destroying iconic spn so there but I’m praying with J2 involved it won’t be a total right off. I do expect there will be tears but I’m torn over want them to close the book for good to have closer or the ice of a crack opening for possible film options. Time will reveal all

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