So, here we are, eight months after we last saw Sam, Dean, Cas, and Jack. Woah.
A few quick things:
1. I am SO happy to have them back. I don't think I realized how much I missed everyone.
2. What a great episode to ease us back in. I know it was all happenstance, but this was the perfect episode to put us back into the story.
3. I kind of missed Cas in this episode, which is a surprise for me. I felt like he needed to be there. I don't know, maybe I'm projecting.
Alright, let's get into it.
We're going to start with Jack because I think he has the most interesting character moments throughout the episode. First of all, his guilt over everything that occurred is understandable and Alexander delivered on the moments he had. It was nice to have a more concrete answer to the question of whether Jack had a soul through the end of last season. It seems to me, based on the reaction he had after he ingested the Occultum, that he didn't have a soul when he killed Mary and everything that happened after. Before Mary's death can be a little fuzzier, but I like having a more concrete answer. That scene between Mrs. Butters and Jack in the dungeon stood out to me as well, because it seemed like Mrs. Butters was just taking all of the things that were going on in Jack's head, and made them external. Mrs. Butters didn't say anything to Jack that he didn't already know. But, she said them out loud, when up to now, they've only been in Jack's head. It not only made Jack's inner monologue extant, but it forced Jack to face his inner voice, and come out the other side.
Oh, Dean. This episode was really for Dean, I think. It was for getting all of the missed holidays, birthdays, and love that Dean missed. But it was also for reconciliation with Jack. It was for Dean making it known that while he was angry with Jack, he wasn't a monster. I love being able to see the development from point A to point B. Think back to 13.01. Dean would never have said what he said to Jack now, and to a certain extent, based on everything that's happened, his perspective in 13.01 wasn't necessarily wrong, just incomplete. But for Dean to be able to show that he can now see the complete picture of who Jack is, and still find it in himself to show forgiveness and kindness to Jack in a time of need, makes me so happy. Also, Dean's constant humor in the episode was a breath of fresh air.
Sam was around this episode and I think the moment that really stood out to me was at the end of the episode, when he and Dean convinced Mrs. Butters to let them go. It was a really great moment for both Sam and Dean, but I think it really stood out for Sam because he'd just been brutally tortured by Mrs. Butters, but still has the understanding to forgive her, knowing what Cuthbert Sinclair did to her in order to make her compliant. I think Sam is so interesting because of his endless well of empathy. There is only one instance where Sam has reached the end of that well, and that was with Lucifer, so it makes sense. With every other person Sam comes across, he has empathy for their experience, and while he might not understand it, he can show emotion about the situation. I also love the fact that he is wearing a sweater vest on a date with Eileen. The whole thing just makes me happy.
We also need to discuss Mrs. Butters. I think it was really interesting the way that her character was revealed. Exposition is the hardest part of any script or story, because there is information the audience, and sometimes the characters, need to know in order for the story to make sense. We've all sat through things where the exposition is obvious. But here, the exposition was not only effortless, it served more than just as exposition. We learn about Mrs. Butters at the same time as Jack does, but we soon find out that exposition was all in service of Mrs. Butters removing Jack from the equation. Then we see how much pain Mrs. Butters is in because of what occurred with the other Men of Letters, and the torture she endured through Cuthbert. We see her realizing how much her purpose was twisted around for the Men of Letters use and how traumatized she is about the whole thing. Jack being the one to say that it was decided that she would leave the Bunker was a moment of beauty. It allowed us to see Jack, but it also allowed Mrs. Butters to see Jack. It allowed her a moment to see Jack as more than just Lucifer's son, but to see him as he is. Flawed, no doubt, but at the core, good, and wanting to do the right thing.
I hope this made sense. I just watched the episode as I'm writing this, so it's a lot to process. So excited for Matt's episode next week! This family is an incredible thing, and it thrills me to see it continue to grow and change.
I hope everyone's hanging in there. The world is increasingly overwhelming these days, so take the time you need in order to decompress. As always, I'm around in the comments and my social channels. Here we go, family, six more to go. I think we'll be okay.
Enjoy more of Kate's seasons 14 and 15 character analyses and episode reviews by visiting her Writers' Page!