I just didn’t love this. Perhaps it’s exhaustion. We just went through an intensely grueling week for the US election, I recently moved and I’m still staring at a never ending sea of unpacked boxes, work has been nuts lately, and honestly this show as it’s winding down isn’t giving me much to work with. It’s been underwhelming overall. Call me a fool, but I'm a sucker for a good plot. All I know there’s two episodes left and there’s still no clear direction or level of excitement in the story, and now one of our pivotal characters is gone before the end. The only constant is everyone is sticking their nose into everything and Chuck keeps doing what he wants. Now we’re doing “Supernatural: Endgame?” That sounds awfully ambitious for such a short time frame.
First, let me send my HUGE kudos to Misha Collins. He and I have had a rather strange relationship over the last 12 years. I’ve interviewed him and talked to him at cons countless times. I was at his first con, his first Comic Con, etc. He knows my face. He knows I run the Winchester Family Business. He just never remembered my name. Every time I would see him I’d ask what my name is. He said he knew, but then he wouldn’t say it. At the last Comic Con in 2019, after we had a nice long conversation at the Warner Brothers party two days earlier, he saw me at the table the press room, went on to answer a question, stopped, looked at me and said, “Alice.” FINALLY! It was my moment of triumph, and his as well. I have that on video BTW, on our YouTube channel. I still savor that moment of glory as one of my greatest triumphs as a “Supernatural” blogger.
So, having told that cute little story, I’m calling Castiel’s demise a massive disappointment. I expected him to go out like a warrior angel, hanging in until the final conflict, sacrificing himself to save Dean, Sam AND Jack, and others too. Going out instead in a fit of long, drawn out melodrama, in a circumstance that could have been avoided if Dean had stopped being such a hot headed dick. It’s just so…disappointing. Come on Dean, did you honestly think going after Death would not have any consequences?
None of that is a slant on Misha though. He acted the freaking hell out of his final scene. He’s really come a long way on this crazy “Supernatural” journey. I’m thrilled Misha saved his best for last and man did he impress. Sure, we knew that Castiel was going to die. The question was how and when. To see Castiel have this very human moment at the end, big tears, huge emotion, elevated to what it is truly like to be human, sacrificing himself so that Dean could fight on, seeing good in Dean while all of us were seeing an arrogant misguided asshole, it was well staged at least. As an actor you have to take the crap you’ve been given and do something extraordinary with it. Misha can call that mission accomplished.
So, here at Castiel’s end, the choice was made to address his and Dean’s long, complicated relationship. I’m not anti-Destiel and never have been, but I will confess I always saw their relationship a different way. My slant can be best described by quoting Wayne’s World.
“Because I've learned that Platonic love *can* exist between two grown men.”
There is love there, without a doubt. But it’s the love of two best friends who have saved each other time and time again in the acts of war. They've spend a long time in the trenches. There is nothing they wouldn’t do for each other. I admire that Castiel can still act on that love even though Dean has been a real jackass. It’s a sacrifice I believe he would have done for Sam or Jack as well, but his words and tears to them would have been quite different. He and Dean share a different history. Dean’s reaction was spot on, he was blindsided by everything happening. So less words and more blubbering mess on the floor. You think he was guilt ridden before? He’s not going to take this loss well.
I’m more disappointed that Dean is still a walking contradiction. In all the episodes leading up to this he was ready to let Jack die so he could be free, then in the beginning of the episode he was suddenly all worried about Jack dying? He attacked Billie with her scythe because she was trying to take Jack? Can someone please write this guy consistently? Okay, they got the drinking alone part right.
On the other side, there’s Sam, who really did play an important part in this episode. I was devastated for him when Eileen disappeared. Back in July 2019 when I interviewed Bob Singer at Comic Con, he basically said there would be hints of a romance for one of the brothers in season 15, but just hints. In his experience, the fans don’t like it when there are love interests for the guys, so they weren’t going to spend much time on it. Okay, true, but shouldn’t at least one of these guys have that kind of happiness? It’s what normal people do, find a love, procreate, etc. Sam has always wished for that normal life and darn it someone should get it.
I know this is unpopular opinion, but I really like the way they’ve handled the relationship between Sam and Eileen. A lot of if has happened off camera, thus not taking the brother time away from the story, yet it has been going on long enough where something has been progressing. I think it was really cute to find Sam in the MOL library as Eileen’s phone screen image. She had a heart emoji next to Sam’s name! She wasn’t spooked by him like when we last saw her. It goes to show how much their relationship has blossomed off camera. I don’t get where fans are complaining that the relationship has been “rushed” and “forced” because it hasn’t, but I also know there will never be a woman good enough for the boys to please fans. I’d like to see Sam or Dean end up with someone to love at the end of it all without having it take away from who they are. It’s what normal adults do. It gives them a sense of purpose or meaning. For the record, I don’t think Eileen is gone for good, but she is just a small part of Sam’s story and always will be.
I was truly touched by Sam’s devastation when Eileen disappeared. That was so well played by Jared. He’s destroyed on the inside, but there’s no time for grieving, they are in crisis mode. He swallowed his pain for the sake of others, but got a brotherly hug for it. The man really needed that hug.
Sam did have an important part in this episode. He was tasked to protect their friends from impending doom. I love that he’s the guy now who knows all the spells and magic. It suits him well! He showed up with everything he got, going on the false assumption they were fending off Death, determined to protect everyone. I adore that personal connection he had with each one of them, and that over the years he’s earned their genuine respect. Even alt-Charlie showed up after blaming him and Dean for her lover's disappearance. I think they’re setting up Sam for an important role in the end of the world thing. I think he’ll be important in finding the infinity stones or whatever they call the MacGuffin that’s going to get them out of this mess.
Sam ended the episode in a world of hurt too. Nothing hurts worse for Sam that failing to protect his friends. To stand there helpless, watching his friends disappear one by one, that had to be killing him inside. Against Chuck, nothing he can do will work. How will that get into Sam’s head? The fact that Dean isn’t answering his phone can only make his state of mind that much worse. If he doesn’t start the next episode in a deep state of despair (a clever tie-in to this week’s title) then something is seriously wrong with the writers. I sense another big hug is coming.
I’m surprised more people haven’t taken an interest in Jack. This dude just exploded in the Empty. That had to be important. Remember what Adam said last week:
Adam: Start an elemental chain reaction. It fuses your soul and your grace into a... Like a...
Seraphina: Metaphysical supernova.
Dean: Meaning what?
Adam: You'll collapse into a living black hole for divine energy. One nothing can escape-- not the darkness, not God himself. But once it starts... you can't stop it.
Something happened by him absorbing that explosion. He’s a new being. The Empty Entity looked very frazzled. Billie thought he was still useful. She read the new ending in Chuck’s book. You think that maybe this new power of his is the key to getting everyone back? Restoring the world? Did Jack’s explosion change the Empty completely? When Castiel gets there, will it be the same? Does anyone really care at this point?
(This might be important for later)
I also have some semantical questions. Remember how Chuck told Amara he was zapping people away, but not killing them? So where is everyone going? Are they in another world? Heaven or Hell? The Empty? Does anyone really care at this point?
So yeah, a lot of melodrama, a giant loss of a character that should have gone out swinging, and meager story movement that sets us up for “Supernatural” in the Marvel universe. And here I thought they would always follow DC’s “Crisis of Infinite Earths.” Who knows, maybe it will be a hybrid. “Supernatural” has always relied on melodrama, but in absence of a plot? Especially the end of the world plot that’s taking us to the series end? It’s not winning me over. I’m skeptical that there’s anything else that can happen in two hours to move things along where this can be a satisfying story.
(We love you Misha)
Overall grade, a C. The acting and directing was pretty awesome, but the story itself did not stand up.
Another HUGE thanks to Raloria for the screen caps. This would be a rather bland review without them!
Read more of Alice's insights on Supernatural! Reviews on every episode of the series are on Alice's Writer's Page and in WFB's Episode Guides!