Supernatural Returns For Its Final Run with Galaxy Brain 15.12

 

I’m in an entirely new headspace for watching the last episodes of Supernatural, which is making writing a recap and review an entirely new challenge. There’s a big part of me that just wants to watch and drink it up, absorb every last morsel of experience with my favorite fictional characters and savor it, no matter what. I am acutely aware, every single second that I’m watching, that my last minutes with the Winchesters and company are ticking down. The other part of me is aware of the same thing but reacts instead with “omg please don’t waste a single moment of these last minutes!” That part is more likely to get frustrated when it seems like those precious moments are indeed wasted.

That’s complex enough, but I am also acutely aware that there are competing motivations here. As a fan, I want the last eight episodes to be satisfying – to continue the story that has meant so much to me and to wrap it up in a way that makes sense and honors the characters I love. For the people who actually make the show – the cast, the crew, and the writers – the motivation is different; more personal, more idiosyncratic. I value the fictional story and characters; they value their workplace and their colleagues and perhaps their legacy with this show. I’m most concerned about wrapping the story; they may be most concerned about saying goodbye to friends and coworkers, or about wrapping their own part of the story instead of the holistic one. Nobody is right or wrong, but it means we’re going to want different things and respond to things differently as we head toward the end.

And as if all that wasn’t complex enough, COVID19 has changed the entire landscape of the world and made Supernatural ending even more emotional than it already was – and much more complicated. Some days, it seems like the world is crumbling around us, and I realize that I need Supernatural more than ever. Yes, I know it’s “just a television show”, but it has been a lifeline for many fans for a decade and a half. I don’t know when we’ve ever needed that lifeline more than right now, in the grip of a global pandemic that is attacking people’s health, safety and livelihoods. When this beloved show is gone, the world will seem that much colder and scarier. I think we’ll make sure the lifeline is still there in terms of the fan community and continuing to engage with the cast in whatever they’re doing, but we won’t have the ongoing story itself to immerse ourselves in. That just means my emotions are running higher than ever about Supernatural ending!

And finally, the ending itself is all up in the air right now. Filming was suspended at the end of last week, as it had just begun on the penultimate (I know, nobody says penultimate…) episode, 15.19. The last one to finish filming was 15.18, which likely left us in a cliffhanger situation without an end. Yesterday producer Jim Michaels reassured a worried fandom that once it was safe to resume, they would “finish what we started” but the uncertainty just adds to the anxiety of impending loss. Will the crew who has been a part of this family since the start be able to be there to resume too? I’m trying to take heart from what Michaels said and not worry, but it seems like worry is a lot of what I’m doing right now!

That said, I was glad to have Supernatural return on Monday night with episode 15.12, Galaxy Brain, written by Robert Berens and Meredith Glynn, and directed by Richard Speight, Jr. It wasn’t a keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your seat episode by any means, but its last scene did set up the foundation for how the rest of the series will go. I didn’t jump up and down and scream about how much I love this show as I was watching, but it had its moments that were satisfying – as well as a few head scratchers.  Mostly, it made me aware that we all participate in this show for different reasons and have different motivations, so for some, this episode satisfied, and for others, it frustrated.

I had a few emotional moments, so I always count that as a win.

Rob Benedict returns as Chuck on ‘Earth 2’ as the episode begins, in a Radio Shed with a hapless and very relatable employee trying to sell him a universal remote. I had to laugh at how right they got it, memories of once-beloved Radio Shack stores making me all kinds of nostalgic.

I enjoyed the nod to Rob’s actual band, Louden Swain, as one of their songs plays in the store – with a lyric that includes “I had a dream that I ate your heart” that is just too perfect considering Jack’s charge from Billie this season. In fact, the fake store was so well done by Jerry Wanek and his amazing crew that director Richard Speight, Jr. tweeted that a few people came in off the street to try to buy a phone!

Chuck then goes full on meta – a little too on the nose for me at this point, even though I usually enjoy the meta. I enjoy it less now that we have so little time – I just want episodes that focus on saving people, hunting things, the family business. And I find myself wanting to stay ‘in the story’ more, knowing I have so little of it left.

Chuck: It’s monologue time.

Me: Okay, Show. We get it.

Employee: Sir, this is a Radio Shed.

That was one of the best lines in the episode and it made me laugh out loud. Kudos to Nicco DelRio for that delivery and Speight’s directing.

The rest of the monologue was a little too self aware for my taste, with Chuck’s declaration that he’s going to get rid of all the worlds that don’t “spark joy” like the real Sam and Dean do.  (I mean, I do agree with him, but…)  He needs to clear the slate (now that there are only eight episodes left…something that’s been complained about by fans)

Chuck: The subplots, the failed spinoffs, it’s time to start cancelling shows…

Me: I said I get it, Show.

Thank you, Mr. Speight, however, for that close up of Rob Benedict’s pretty blue eyes.

The ‘time to start cancelling shows’ hit particularly hard, since I don’t have much of a sense of humor about Supernatural ending right now. It wasn’t cancelled, but it is ending, so – no laugh from me at the meta messages this time!

But again, I’m aware that while this didn’t work for me, I’m not the only one trying to come to terms with the ending and make it right. Berens, one of the writers of this episode, was also the creator of the world of Wayward Sisters (the actual “failed spinoff”). That show’s failure to launch was painful for him and for Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster and the rest of the WS cast, and for the fans who were enthusiastically rooting for it – and it feels like this episode was largely about some closure for all of them. Thus the explicit framing, I’m guessing. Kim said just this past weekend that it still smarts, so I’m hoping this episode helped.

In Sioux Falls, Kim Rhodes’ character Jody Mills is investigating cattle mutilations and talking on the phone to one of her Wayward Daughters, Alex. They mention Patience, and later they’ll mention Claire, and of course we’ll see Kaia again – so that means all the WS gang was “included” in some way in this episode – other than Briana Buckmaster (Sheriff Donna Hanscum), whose presence I greatly missed. I think that was important to both the writer and the cast and the WS fandom, that they get some sort of actual ending for WS. (Alex was voiced by Katherine Ramdeen reprising her role, and Berens even gave her a vegan shout out, which made me smile).

Jody is still brave and empathic at the same time – she’s a character I’ve loved from the start – but this time all that gets her is beat up and captured and calling the Winchesters for help. The Winchesters and Cas are at the bunker disagreeing about whether they should trust Billie and her heart-eating instructions to Jack.

Cas: The hearts were disturbing…

Understatement, Cas.

Sam seems to be the one thinking the most clearly, pointing out that a) Jack still doesn’t have a soul and they have no idea where his head is at, and b) What about the cosmic balance that’s always been a part of canon? Have we dumped that now? Can Billie really be trusted?

Jack, meanwhile, runs his hand sadly over Mary’s initials carved into the table (which makes me cranky every time I see it) and silently calls to Billie.

He gets sassy reaper Merle instead. I like Merle. Sandra Ferens does a great job making her memorable. She chastises Jack, saying she’s there to keep him in line. Sam comes in to check on Jack and we get a little Dad Sam moment as he tells Jack that he could have come to them first, they would have tried to help him. It’s tense between them, but Sam seems to want to reassure Jack despite his own doubts. It’s a very Sam thing to do, and I love him for it.

Gifs jaredandjensen

While Jack and Sam are chatting, Dean and Cas share a drink and Cas insists that he knew all along that Jack would be good for the world – it has clearly weighed on him and he’s relieved that it seems like maybe that will be true. The scene seems intended to show us that Dean has gotten over his anger and upset about Jack killing Mary and also any anger he had at Cas for his perceived part in that, and that they’re all on the same page now. The two clink their glasses and celebrate Cas “being right”, which seems like a tempting fate idea to me and never a good idea on this show.

Sure enough, Jody calls and says she’s in trouble.

Sam and Dean and Baby to the rescue, and a few minutes of old school Supernatural with the Winchesters, guns drawn. They’re ambushed by Dark Kaia, Dean in a headlock but still snarky and defiant – and yes, that’s the Dean I love.

Jody helps out by smashing a chair on DK’s back and they hold her at gunpoint. Only then does she ask for their help, saying her world is dying and our Kaia with it – and wait, actual Kaia is actually alive. What?? Pretty sure that was NOT the case, but apparently it is now.

Jody: Oh god… we left her there for dead…

Kim Rhodes is so good, that one line just broke my heart. The guilt of that realization came through loud and clear.

DK has said the magic words where the Winchesters are concerned: I need your help.

The Winchesters cannot say no to that kind of plea.

So back to the bunker she goes, where Cas and Jack are playing Connect Four and I’m pretty sure that Cas is letting Jack win and it’s adorable.

Cas to Jody: Nice to finally meet you in person.

Jody looks pretty happy about it too.

Dark Kaia interrupts the nice moment to remind them that they’re running out of time (or Kaia and the other world are) and that she needs Jack to open a portal like now.

Dean to DK: Hey, notKaia? Not helping.

Jensen Ackles can make one line so funny even in the midst of a serious scene, seriously.

They all spend some time futilely trying to figure out another way to get DK back to her world and our Kaia back to this one, to no avail. I wonder why they don’t try contacting Michael, since what they really need is Archangel grace. Or why didn’t they ask if he would leave some?

Jody and Cas bond over their affection for Claire and their worry of what it would do to her if they can’t save Kaia. We get the confirmation from Jody that Claire loved Kaia, and that she’s spent the past few years looking for revenge for her death, thus including Claire in the narrative and giving some explicit validation to that ship and its representation.

Jack overhears their concern.

Uh oh.

Sure enough, Jack goes to talk to DK. Who manages to pretty easily guilt trip him into helping her.

DK to Jack: Anything else you wanna say, Off Limits Boy?

I got a kick out of that line too. Yadira Guevara-Prip did a nice job of making Dark Kaia different than regular Kaia, and both of them interesting. I get the feeling that Dark Kaia is pretty much a master of emotional manipulation – who knows how she got that way, since she didn’t seem to get a lot of practice interacting with others on her world. Jack gives in and dreamwalks to her world, seeing Kaia there (with her lizard in a cage).

Jack announces to the Winchesters and Castiel that he’s saving Kaia, that he owes it to her. Suddenly, the reaper Merle appears and shakes her head in dismay.

Merle: Risking it all for one person? That’s not just dumb, that’s Winchester dumb.

Dean: Wha – heyyy!

Entire fandom: I really need that on a tee shirt.

She’s right, too. That is Winchester dumb – and it’s one of the reasons I adore them. Risking it all for one person is what they’re all about.

Jack has learned some negotiating skills and how to use a well-placed threat though, and he convinces Merle to help them.

Merle: This is Winchester stupid…

Dean: (sensing her capitulation) But…?

But indeed. Merle helps them “juice up” the wards all over the bunker that Amara peeled away (when did she do that? I’ve lost track…)

Merle: I’m gonna need to borrow your angel to juice it up.

Much of fandom: Hmmm, angel juice?

Sam gets to do some Latin incantation and then it was very cool to see the wards and sigils appear all over the bunker, along with some very cool Jay Gruska music. I got unexpectedly emotional about the bunker as the camera traced its beams and doorways and stairwells. It is so beautiful, and so unique, and so much the Winchesters’ home, and I realized suddenly that I’m going to miss it terribly. I’ve only had the honor of being inside it once, but I still remember how in awe I was to be there, and how truly impressive it is. I’m really glad it got some appreciation in this episode, thanks to director Speight and some well done VFX.

We get a rare iconic and everyday sort of Sam and Dean moment as they get ready to go through the portal to save Kaia.

Dean to Sam: How you feeling about this?

Sam: Honestly? Feels like we’re taking a big probably stupid risk…. Feels good.

Dean nods in agreement.

Sam: Destroying cosmic entities, doing the dumb right thing…

Sam tightens up Dean’s backpack, both of them doing what they know so well, preparing for a hunt together like they have their whole lives, so smoothly. I relish those little moments.

Sam: Feels like we’re back.

Gifs jaredandjensen

And it does. For that moment at least, it felt like the Winchesters were doing what we’ve loved seeing them do for fifteen seasons. Saving people, hunting things. We don’t get to see it a lot and we won’t see it for much longer, and that realization made me tear up all over again.

Cas asks Jody to stay behind with him, and she at first balks.

Jody: What is this, some BS male chivalry thing?

Cas explains that he was never able to make things right with Claire, that he knows what he took from her. That he’ll never be able to, but at least Claire has Jody now.

Cas: She needs you. If she lost both Kaia and you…

Jody: That would kill her.

It’s a moment of shared understanding between them, and another part of the WS story put onscreen before the end. It was also a bit of insight into Castiel – he doesn’t forget, or gloss over it, but he does care and he does feel bad. It’s a moment of humanity for him that Jody shares.

So Jody stays behind, the wards are juiced, Jack opens a portal, and Dark Kaia goes through.

Sam hesitates, looks back at Dean.

Dean nods, and in they go.

Big damn heroes.

The red eyed things surround them instantly.

Dean: Oh crap.

There’s not a lot of tension to their rescue mission, though, because the monsters are more scared of Chuck’s world ending stuff and they know right where to quickly find Kaia, who comes out when they call her name.

Dean: Hey, kid.

Kaia throws herself into Dean’s arms, which threw me out of the story because – really? In the THEN segment we were vividly reminded that Dean once ordered her at gun point to “get in the damn car!”, which shocked and appalled me at the time, especially because she was so recently traumatized. One would think that would preclude the real Kaia from wanting to fall into his arms. Both his affectionate “hey, kid” and her reaction seemed off to me – they don’t know each other well at all, and more than half of their interactions were pretty negative.

Once again, though, these last episodes are for different things for different people. Berens tweeted his own personal motivation.

Berens: Kaia hugging Dean at first sight was important to me.  As much as the gun incident weighed on Dean (and as much as Dark Kaia played that guilt card to get in his head) – Dean’s a hero, and saved her.

I get the feeling that Berens needed to make that right, so even if it didn’t ring quite true for me, I get it. He also said that while the episode was about Sam, Dean, Cas and Jack reintegrating as a family in time to face the fight ahead (Connect four, anyone?), for him and others who care about WS, it was about saving Kaia and finishing off in some way the arc of what would have been Wayward Sisters, which is what I’d guessed.

Also, Sam’s windblown hair in the other world is magnificent. Just saying.

Kaia is reunited with a relieved Jody, and we see that she’s okay with Jack too. That was pretty much the theme of this episode – everyone is okay with everyone else. Much of this last season has been devoted to ‘making things okay’ and giving side characters a resolution of some kind. I don’t think that always has to be the case actually, and it’s not what I would have voted to have the last season be about, but I can see its appeal too. Especially for a cast who genuinely cares about each other.

Jody: You can come back to Sioux Falls to my home.

Kaia: Will Claire be there?

Jody: She will be, soon.

Kaia thanks them and they leave.

Jody turns around and looks over her shoulder at Sam and Dean and Cas and Jack, and Kim Rhodes has such a fond and wistful expression on her face, and I suddenly teared up. That was Jody saying goodbye – that was Jody managing to survive to the bitter end, after all the times we feared she might not. And that was Kim Rhodes, saying thank you for this wild ride that being on this show has brought to her and so many others. It made the reality of the show ending so imminent and so palpable, and it cut deep.

Kim Rhodes live tweeted the west coast airing and echoed my thoughts – trying to let it sink in that she did, in fact, survive.

In fact, this season has ensured that almost everyone survived in some way, shape or form. I’m still not sure how I feel about that, but I was rooting for Jody Mills this whole time.

The episode did the best it could to wrap up the Wayward Sisters story line, mentioning Claire (since there’s no way they could have gotten Kathryn Newton back) and Patience, hearing Alex on the phone, and bringing back Kaia. I felt the absence of Donna acutely, though. I don’t think they ever understood that the show many of us wanted initially was Wayward Daughters, focused on Jody and Donna.

Ah well.

They have about ten seconds to contemplate their victory before Death appears and cuts down the reaper Merle just like that, with some nice directing by Speight. (Damn it, I liked Merle!)

Sam and Dean and Cas and Jack stand there open mouthed for a very long time as Billie borrows Crowley’s famous line, “Hello, boys.”

Lisa Berry brings a terrifying gravitas to Death, and was suitably menacing in this scene as she informs them that all the other worlds are dying.

Sam stands right up to her, which made me want to cheer him. That’s the Sam Winchester I know and love!

Sam: What’s your end game, Billie? Jack’s gonna kill God? How?

Billie informs them that everyone has a book, even God. That everything dies.

We get a flashback of original Death (hello Julian Richings!) saying that yes, one day he will reap God.

Also? Baby Dean was so cute!

It turns out that Jack is in God’s book. And he’s not the only one.

Billie: I told you, Dean. You and your brother have work to do. You are the messengers of God’s destruction.

I must admit I loved that line and I loved what that sets up, even it’s still not exactly clear to me why that cosmic balance no longer applies. I need the Winchesters to be relevant again to the end plot of this show – not bit players or supporting players, but integral to what the show is about. Special in some way, not incidental. Please let that line be setting up just that!

We end with Chuck still at the Radio Shed, hapless employee exhausted on the floor. Chuck watches the worlds be destroyed, then gets up to walk out.

Hapless employee: You’ll spare this world, though. Right?

Chuck cups his face in a parody of tenderness and promises he’ll be fine.

Damn, Rob Benedict, for someone so sweet in real life, you can be super scary!

As he walks out, an asteroid crashes into the store and presumably obliterates it – and that world.

The episode tied up some loose ends that were important to people both on the show and in the fandom. It puts Sam, Dean, Castiel and Jack on the same page, and sets us up for the last episodes, which I’m really hoping I can absolutely jump up and down love while I still have the chance. And it contained some emotional beats that did ring true for me.

The previews for next week delighted me (at least for now!), and maybe an episode with some humor will be just what we need (although with so few episodes left, I also don’t want filler!). At least I know there’s one scene I’m going to appreciate – but damn it, Sam, leave the man bun alone!

Caps by kayb625

Gifs by jaredandjensen

Until next week…

–Lynn

You can preorder the new book written by

the actors and fans of Supernatural, all about

its legacy and what makes it so damn special,

at peacewhenyouaredone.com  We all hope

it can help us all get through the ending

and keep inspiring us too AKF!

 

 

39 thoughts on “Supernatural Returns For Its Final Run with Galaxy Brain 15.12

  • I agree we’re in a different headspace as the audience, from the cast and crew. So much of this season just hasn’t worked and lacked… Well I don’t exactly know, but it’s just not SPN as we know it and this episode was classic example of why it’s not satisfying. It was solid, it tied up some loose ends, it wasn’t horrible, but aside from Dean being able to make good on his promise, which would matter enormously to his character and was great for his brother to witness, it really didn’t mean much to me. I was not and never have been invested in Kaia or her world, even Kaia as a dreamwalker wasn’t a character that resonated and to be frank I was uneasy with because it was tool with which they almost assassinated Deans character. On top of that , her character was portrayed as capable of easily taking down seasoned hunters in a not believable way, to the detriment of our protagonists.
    That said if it had been a set up to bigger things earlier in the season it may have been servicable and easier to relate to, but this late on in the season it’s not what we’ve been used to and it served only to remind us how little time we have left. Not the worst episode, but it won’t figure high on my rewatch list.
    Billie’s big reveal wasn’t exactly a shocker, but please someone, tell my why she didn’t use that as the incentive to motivate Dean last season instead of the horrible Ma’alek box? Thoughts?

    • I’m trying to make sense of it all, rather desperately, as we count down to the final episodes. It’s difficult with so many competing motivations and all of them very high stakes. I unfortunately can’t answer your question about Billie and the Ma’alek box either. More head scratching!

      • Ah, well no worries. Maybe the whole thing will make more sense when we look back . In meantime I’ll put it down to the fact the story evolved in a different direction to how they expected, that maybe it’s just a loose thread that won’t make sense and not look for deeper meaning. Thanks though and thanks for reviewing. Take care of you and your loved ones

  • I agree that they are tidying up loose ends with some of the characters that have been a part of the Winchester saga. Not knowing what will be happening, I keep thinking of the title, “And Then There Were None.” We are basically down to Dean, Sam, Castiel & Jack. I’m never right at these guessing things but, I see one by one going. Before they do, I would love the ending episode, if not all of it, most of it be JUST Sammy & Dean.

    • Chuck saying he was going to get rid of all the other worlds made sense-in a way. My first thought was the other world where Dean was a guy named Jensen Ackles and Sam was something called a Jared Padalecki. That was an interesting (?)world.

      The story line was ok-not gripping-but ok. I’m not really into the whole tying up loose ends thing but I did wonder about Dark Kaia not getting her spear back. She didn’t react the way I thought she would. Disappointing.

      It was an mediocre episode. Not the best but not the worst. But maybe it’s because I want better for the end. I want gripping, heartbreaking, and Sam and Dean tearing into a bad guy. I want memorable. This wasn’t it.

      Thank you Lynn for another great summing up. I’ll miss this too.

      • Hi Lynn. I was the one that wrote the tweet that set Jim Michaels to his reassuring answer. Still he has no wAg to make good on that promise of covid-19 lasts into the summer. This episode had no wow moments for me but I did love Richard’s directing. I’m meh about Kiah and the younger WS I adore Kim and Brianna but honestly I just want Team Free Will 2.0 24/7. The end of cracked me up. That had to be Richard’s idea to send an asteroid and Rob Benedict is amazing. That being said, I’m glad we still have 5 episodes of our show in the can. Stay healthy and safe everyone. It’s scary AF out there.

      • I keep expecting that from each episode -gripping, heartbreaking, memorable – and for the most part most of them are not it. Every week it’s on, I sit, watch, and for the most part by the end I find myself disappointed. Sure there are bits and pieces here and there but it usually feels like something is missing. As I’ve commented before – I’m bored. In the past as soon as the episode was over I would rewatch it right away. And maybe if it was a really good episode a third time. This year? I put off watching – putter around, watch something else, fix something to eat… before I cue it up on the DVR. It doesn’t help that this season is moving at a glacial pace. And too heavy on return characters. This episode coming up – I’m afraid they are going to ruin the perfect death from the past. Can’t Dabb leave well enough alone. Is nothing in this show sacred to him? We know canon isn’t.

        The sad thing is what if Dabbs ending turns out to be absolutely brilliant but by the time we get to those last few episodes everyone’s dropped off out of boredom.

    • I just hope we get the ending episode in some kind of timeline in which it still makes sense! Everything is so up in the air in the real world that it makes the stakes for “finishing” a show that has been so beloved seem even higher than it would have otherwise. Which is scary! But yes, I’m all for Chuck “clearing the board” so that only the four of the remain soon – it’s just happening very very close to the end…

  • Lynn, I’m in the same space as you as I watch each episode, mentally counting down in my mind and hoping as each episode begins that it will be worthwhile. This one was OK, fairly good but not great, and I guess we can’t expect greatness out of every episode as much as we may wish for it. Maybe it could never meet the expectations I have for this final season.
    I am in season 9 right now in my rewatch and just watched Meta Fiction, a personal favorite of mine, but maybe not everyone’s (I loved Metatron, loved to hate him at first, but then he grew on me-what a genius actor Curtis Armstrong is)! I just got swept along in the episode, loving the brief reunion of Cas and Gabriel, Metatron’s narration, Cas’ anger at Dean over the MOC, the Walker Brothers song at the end. After it ended I thought, “Now THAT felt like a Supernatural episode!”
    I miss the days when I just got swept up into an episode and was busy just enjoying it, because there weren’t any off key notes or mistakes in canon that pulled me out of the story. (Like, Kaia isn’t dead? and other questionable moments that ignore canon, when earlier seasons used to be note perfect on canon). I love this show and nothing will ever change that, but these final eps are hard. I love them and I dread them at the same time, knowing the end is near and afraid I’ll be disappointed.
    I am immunocompromised right now and have to stay in for a while, and watching SPN means more to me than ever. Just seeing the boys onscreen gives me that happy rush and lets me forget everything else. No other show will ever mean to me what this one does.

    • I can relate to every single thing you said here. Being sheltered in place makes holding onto those things that have gotten us through the past fifteen years seem even more precious, but also makes it harder when they don’t sweep me up in the same way as earlier seasons did – when I need that escape the most! Hang in there, we’re in this together!

  • I was bored from start to finish. Characters I don’t care about. Laughable OOC moments. Besides Sam’s beauty and intelligence, the only good part of this ep was the preview for next week.

  • Honestly…I don’t want COVID-19 to drag on for months because my parents, in-laws, sister, and myself are all in the “danger zone,” but I also vainly hope there’s no way SPN can film its final episode. Because then maybe – just MAYBE – Dabb’s destruction of this beautiful story will never be complete, his closed ending will not be realized, and someday we can have a movie *he’s not allowed to touch* that can fix everything he’s done by opening on either Sam or Dean waking from a coma and revealing seasons 13-15 were a nightmare, thereby striking most of the Dabb era from canon. I desperately don’t want them to be able to film the final episode when the rest of the last season has been…sigh…*this.* We wouldn’t have had to waste time on Kaia, of all freakin’ people, if Dabb weren’t still so desperately in love with his original (crappy) characters for Wayward Sisters that they were at loose ends and needed to waste a precious final episode wrapping them up.

    • I know a bunch of people who are also sort of hoping the planned ending will never be filmed – I guess that’s a way to cope if it isn’t so I may have to try to get there too! If there was some other ending, like a film, I’d be fine with that – I’d just be heartbroken if it NEVER gets told. All is uncertain right now, that’s for sure.

      • Some people may be using it as a coping mechanism, but for me it’s a legitimate hope. I would honestly rather never have a definitive ending to the show than allow Dabb to fulfill whatever crappy ending he’s envisioned. He doesn’t deserve to have the final official word in this story. He hasn’t earned it, and has done nothing but damage this show and the Winchesters since they (stupidly) gave him the head writer’s chair and then (stupidly) let him stay. I’d rather have it end on a cliffhanger and let the fandom imagine what happened after than allow Dabb to close it out forever, as he’s said he’s done.

  • I was pretty desparate to see this by the time it came on, 6 weeks is a long hiatus in the middle of a season. This is not a good indicator for how I am going to cope when it is finished!!! I didn’t find myself bored which I have done unbelievably on a couple of occasions this season but like many I had absolutely no investment in Kaia so the actual story did not hold much interest for me and I could care less about Dean getting closure on this particular episode. His holding the gun to her was only one of the many “seems out of character” so I will handwave scenes – there are many of these including the mother of them all with Sam not searching for Dean!

    “I value the fictional story and characters; they value their workplace and their colleagues and perhaps their legacy with this show. I’m most concerned about wrapping the story; they may be most concerned about saying goodbye to friends and coworkers, or about wrapping their own part of the story instead of the holistic one. Nobody is right or wrong, but it means we’re going to want different things and respond to things differently as we head toward the end. “

    This is such a good explanation for the IMO mess this Season has become, very little of it feels remotely like “my” Supernatural and it is a painful way for lots of fans to be saying goodbye after so long. I just want Sam, Dean with a side of Cas fighting the good fight. Although I don’t have a serious problem with the character of Jack I would much rather he had been left dead as to me he should not be part of Sam and Dean’s journey towards the end of the serious.

    Also I have the problem that Chuck as the big bad is not working for me, the World which does encompass the Supernatural World is a very beautiful place with many beautiful people (I know there is lots of bad but it is still beautiful) and I can’t get from there to that Chuck created it he is far too petty and mean.

    I am not a natural “hater” but I am bitter about the quality and story lines in the last seasons but hey ho will just have to continue to rewatch the earlier ones.

    • I don’t know if my explanation is correct or if I’m grasping at straws, but it makes sense to my psychologist brain and I really am feeling desperate to make sense of it all as we come close to the end. I still relish the good moments, the character beats, jealously guarding those small things that make sense and feel like my Show. They are still there, thanks to the incredible acting and directing and the writing that can feel so good at times when it rings true to me. I’m trying to stay very aware that my pov is not everyone’s, both within the fandom and in a broader sense. It’s hard sometimes when this feels so important and so limited!

  • I don’t know where to start. I find Dean and Sam to be somehow off, out of character this season. More Dean than Sam, but maybe they are trying to mature him? *shrugs* Like others have said, I’m no longer rushing to watch as soon as I’m home from work. I still love Supernatural, and will watch till the bitter end, but I’m more and more afraid it will be a bitter end. This ep ! Kaia? She was dead! Claire loved her? They knew each other for a day! This was a monumental waste of an episode. The ease with which they were in and out of the Bad Place made a mockery of how Bad it supposedly was, and I have no idea why we were introduced to Merle. And I though Jack couldn’t use his powers, or God would kow where he was. Some dinky warding was supposed to stop GOD seeing all? *Ug* I had more hopes for this ep with these writers.

    • I think that’s why I needed to make sense of this in a different way, because these are very talented writers and they have written episodes I absolutely LOVE. And there were moments in this one that rang true, but alot that I had to struggle with – and that’s hard with so few left.

  • *sigh* I so very much appreciate your perspective on this episode. I think the seams ARE showing (that the goodbyes of writers/cast/crew are seeping into story). That’s too be expected a bit. And I’m actually okay with a wrap-up of Wayward. I believe that show had great potential and a crime it wasn’t picked up. But NO DONNA is NOT OKAY. Ahem… sorry for shouting. I also wasn’t positive that was the ‘last’ of Jody. So… I’m going to hold out a bit of hope.

    The Plot-Of-The-Week: I liked that we got the Wayward wrap. And it was well done within the limitations of no Claire. I too loved the Cas/Jody discussion. He’s ceded his parental role to Jody and needs her to know it. That was great closure for Cas as well. I did not like they left “Not Kaia” in a doomed world. They didn’t realize her plan was to stay all along and they tried to convince her to go, plus they conveyed the urgency so… I’ll get past it.

    Mytharc: I just can’t get on board with evil Chuck. It’s the plot and whether or not I’m on board, this is the train we’re on. So I’ve tried to detach my feelings and just appreciate the craftmanship — it’s hard. I can appreciate Rob Benedict and the VFx. I think the belief that we’d be cool with them taking this direction because it’s not REALLY our universe was a bad assumption. And BTW, with that thinking we are DEAD as only the Sam and Dean universe will exist. *sigh* Again… I’m setting aside that to look at the character work and that I CAN appreciate.
    Dean – I think he’s detached. And it’s not healthy. He’s going to come roaring back with some anger pretty soon.
    Cas – His relief that Jack is alive and that the gamble he took on him was not bad is clouding his judgement. That also is not a good thing. Trust Jack, don’t trust Jack’s willingness to be Billie’s instrument.
    Sam – Seems most clear-headed. Keep that up Sammy.
    Billy – Time to share with the class. More than you can reap God. What about Amara? How is balance kept? Is Amara going to be a casualty in order to maintain it? How does natural order exist WITHOUT God embedded in the framework. I don’t trust her. And I like her.

    *sigh* I just want to trust, this uncertainty is hard.

    So… I need next week to clear things up. And I need a realistic FULLY EXPLAINED story on balance before I sign onto any plan. And yes, as an audience member I need to sign onto the plan for me to enjoy it.

    • You described the struggle perfectly – this is the train we’re on, and it’s going at 70 mph, but I’m not fully on board and DAMN is that a bad feeling! What you said about Cas and Sam, absolutely. And I realized when I read your description of Dean that I didn’t have enough time with him in this last episode to really know where he was at all. Someone pointed out that not once did he look even remotely happy – Cas did, but not Dean. His toast was to revenge, not to the kind of satisfaction that Cas was feeling. He seems resigned, and I honestly don’t know if that’s part Ackles being resigned to the ending or all Dean being the same. Either way, it’s chilling – and I don’t like not getting enough information to figure it out.

      • With the pacing of this season it feels more like the train is roaring at 20 mph. As in if it slows down anymore you will be able to run to catch up to it.

        After that “prayer” to Cas I see Dean as more neutered than anything else. He has his moments but he seems pretty subdued since his mea culpa for being angry at everything Cas did.. If this is the “growth” that the Destielers were crowing about – they can have it.

        So Win-Win. Dean is happy Kaia is safe and that he kept his promise to get Dark Kaia (minus her spear) back home. Only to witness her upcoming doom. But yay. He honored his promise. Nice way to wrap up that storyline that I could have cared less about. And plothole? when did Dark Kaia know Decaffinated Kaia was still alive and kicking in the Bad Place? Did she want to save her from there or join her because she said multiple times she wanted to return to family. Wouldn’t it have been beneficial to Dark Kaia to tell Sam and Dean she was still alive and trapped in AU world? Maybe not. I’d have to go back and review those earlier episodes and I’m not going to so it will have to be a mystery unless one of you fine folk know the answer.

        Dark Kaia foreshadowing Dean and Decaffinated Sam? Or visa-versa? I can’t help but think that Dean is the one that isn’t going to make it. Sam has always had faith in the light at the end of the tunnel. The only light at the end of the tunnel Deans ever admitted to seeing as Sam pointed out was Hellfire. Dean has come to grips with his death – a hunters early death. But not Sams. It would be beyond cruel to flip that and make him the survivor. Which will probably be exactly what Dabb does. Or separates them – Sam as the guardian over Jack and Dean left as the firewall for Earth/mankind. And where does Amara fit in this mess? I thought I read where we would learn more about her and Dean?
        So many questions, and sadly so little time.

      • Maybe Amara will take Dean’s soul, it seems at present there’s little hope of peace for him any other way and as you say, he’s subdued and obedient, more like his season One self.

      • Yes!!! thank you. I couldn’t put my finger on why that scene bothered me so much other than it felt vaguely like Misha and Jensen remorsefully toasting the end of the show. But rethinking about it after reading your comment, it was Dean’s cold revenge based comments in contrast to Castiel’s warm relief. Dean has always acted from a place of passion, love and hurt but it’s never felt cold. I’m not sure if my words are expression my sentiment correctly but I needed to thank you for the brain worm relief LOL

  • I agree with you about the countdown effect, but I don’t think this is just something that we, as fans, are bringing to the show. It’s something that the writers (presumably under the direction of Andrew Dabb) keep beating into our heads with Chuck’s meta lines about narrative endpoints. They also keep aggravating it by undoing the subplots that we could follow to an ending, like Chuck and Sam’s shared wound, and the curse to seal away God. If Dabb didn’t want us obsessing over his inattention to capital-G God-as-villain, he could’ve either not made God the final Big Bad (perhaps by having Chuck *actually* leave after ripping open Hell) or given us more episodes focused on exploiting God’s weaknesses (see above re: Sam and Chuck’s wound, which had great resonance with Sam’s longtime experience of corruption).

    There are certainly times when the fandom has created its own dissatisfaction, notably WRT shipping “endgames,” but Dabb brought the God storyline to us. And keeps having characters blab about it without ever accomplishing anything. We don’t have to ruin our own experience; Dabb really *is* bungling it that badly.

    • I’m not sure I know anyone who is truly happy about the Chuck/God story line at this point. The shared wound absolutely had potential – and it also made the Winchesters truly relevant to the whole God storyline – but it disappeared just like that, making everyone wonder why it was there in the first place. I keep going back to that train metaphor suggested above as I hang out the boxcar door, half on and half off as the speed picks up – and scared to death!

  • Hi, All – Lynn, (I think it’s you writing this,) I want you to know that as a SUPERFAN (from the beginning of the show)who has never been part of the conferences/websites/fanparties (I am an extreme introvert) I really appreciate what you do and have done.
    I found, after the fact of the end of the show sunk in, that I am so broken-hearted I can’t even give much thought to anything ‘Supernatural’…or I just cry. I still watch re-runs every day, and send out love prayers to the whole gang, on a daily basis. BUT I am pulling back a bit since the pain is too great. Anyway, the reason for this comment is to thank everyone who is in any part responsible for the show, the fan organizations, and all who are still active fans and organizers. Much love, blessings and heart to hearts. – Raven

    • Thank you, Raven! It is a big loss, and sometimes you do have to know when to pull away for your own self preservation. I hope the new book will help you – it’s pretty inspiring and upbeat, with everyone expressing their love for the show and celebrating its legacy. Until then, we’re all hanging on together!

  • I liked this episode. However like you, at moments I felt like the the main storyline was not on point enough for the precious few episodes left in the season of my all time favourite show.
    I know a lot of important information was transmitted during the dialogue but it just felt a bit light at moments and I’m not sure why.
    That being said, it was well made, well acted and looked great. I just didn’t feel as invested. I know I get greatly distracted by Chuck’s lines using words like show cancellations, monologues, main characters, etc. Using the metaphor of a television show in his early explanation of how he interacted with his creations as “the writer” was fine. But now it just feels forced and too on the nose. We get it. The Supernatural audience is an intelligent group and they don’t need to be hit over the head with repeated blunt hints. In fact I would argue that we prefer the subtle messages that allow us to “play” a little with interpretation. Makes the reveal in the end all that much more mind-blowing than if the foreshadowing has been too heavy handed.
    As for the whole Amarra/Chuck balance cannon I’m speculating that Billy’s line of “He (Chuck) built himself into the framework” is key. She was referencing his inability to stop building worlds and that by taking the action of building himself into said narrative he could be stopped. Just takes two big dumb heroes to do it 😉
    Final comment, I wish I could walk through the bunker. I love that space. Thank you Richard Speight Jr. for the beautiful footage of our boys’ safe haven, their home.

    • What was missing from the story was the core Winchester group actually connecting, there was not heart to the episode because they all broke off into seperate groups, Cas and Jack played connect 4( nice image but only 2 can play it…) Dean and Sam went with Not Kaia, Not Kaia was isolated visually and physically, in the end disconnected brutally in her death from the one person she did connect to, Regular Kaia. It felt like the message wasn’t about connecting, rather than disconnecting, breaking up the band, so to speak . Not at all comforting.

    • It breaks my heart to think of the bunker set disappearing. It is so amazing and so beautiful, I wish everyone could experience it! I’m glad director Dick gave us some shots to show off its beauty. I’m sure he appreciates it too.

  • As usual, I’m running behind on commenting, but having to find and then ship toilet paper to a family member slowed me down. I have been enjoying your reviews for a long time, Lynn, and only this year decided to finally share my thoughts. I will miss this as much as the show, and I hope you can check in occasionally with something to brighten our day since we’ll need it and you always provide such wonderful insight into things. As usual, I generally agree with you and our SPN friends’ various thoughts and wanted to add two or three of my own. First, I was glad the Kaia/WS storyline was addressed without Jody dying (for now, at least, on screen), but my husband wondered why, if Dark Kaia had time to restore Regular Kaia and then go from the Bad Place to the Winchesters’ world, why didn’t they just go together? I told him it was so it could be part of this whole destroying worlds storyline even if it doesn’t make sense, just like all those other things we have to pretend we don’t notice. Second, since Billie mentioned the book in her library detailing Chuck’s end, then the key to her library, which Sergei said is kept in the bunker, will be something he wants and must not be allowed to fall into his hands. Does Chuck know about the book and what it says? If he’s supposed to be omniscient you would think so, but I myself don’t know what to think anymore. I remember when Dabb announced early in Season 14 that AU Michael wasn’t going to be the Big Bad at the end of the season, and I wondered if they were finally going to develop the Jesse Turner antichrist character into a nemesis for Jack and the Winchesters, thinking that could have possibilities. I can come up with five interesting storylines based on concepts that had potential in past seasons while brushing my teeth, so I was optimistic despite Dabbs being the showrunner he’s been for the last few seasons. We got the 300th episode and the cast and others talking like they could go on for several more years, and then suddenly it was this time a year ago and we were hearing Jared, Jensen, and Misha saying Season 15 would be the last. I will always wonder if, upon hearing that Chuck/God would be the villain, the Big Bad (I can’t believe I had to write those words), a being who is supposed to be omnipotent, omniscient, and probably unbeatable without an epic sacrifice, the guys could see that the show had kind of been painted into a corner. I mean, where do you go after that? I’m sure that the best writers could create a story that might give us a chance to see the Winchesters again someday in something special, but how would you go on to Season 16 after this? And so, to keep it from turning into something worse than this, the painful decision to let the show end was made. That’s just something I’ll always wonder and we’ll probably never know, because these gentlemen are too classy to be publicly critical. In the meantime, as we hope and pray for each other in these challenging days, we can try to enjoy what we have left and know that however–and whenever–it ends, we’ll all be so proud of our boys.

    • All those things you added – put them in the pile of ‘things we scratch our heads about and have no explanation for.” It’s getting to be a damn big pile! I think your analysis of what happened to end up here is probably pretty close, but we may never know for sure. In the meantime, I’m trying to do what you said – enjoy what I can. And nothing will EVER make me not proud of those boys. Nothing.

  • I forgot to mention one thing–do you recall the Haxxon (or however it was spelled) ring that the demon Malfadane was removing from Lilith’s chamber in “The Rupture?” He started to say something about it to Belphagor but didn’t get to finish. It was also in a close-up of the images shown in the pre-season trailer. Usually a detail like that is supposed to be for a reason, so I hope we’ll see the meaning behind it soon–unless it’s forgotten about, but that would never happen, right?

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