Friday, May 13, 2016

Supernatural, Season 11, Episode 21: All In The Family

Let me say right now that I am very much Team Dean on this one – I think nearly this whole episode Dean said time and again everything I’d been saying.

So Dean and Sam are confronted with god. And Kevin shows up to confirm that, yes, this is actually god. I want to be super joyful about Kevin being back if he wasn’t back for about a minute to say “yes god” before disappearing again. That’s a tiny, sad inclusion. I can only hope that whole upgrading means Kevin is a new archangel.

In fact, yes, I want Kevin to be an Archangel. Make this so, since all the other except Lucifer are dead!

So Sam and Dean have god – and Sam is very much very much in awe and impressed while Dean… Dean has complexities

I mean, he’s in awe and, to begin with, carefully respectful. He doesn’t want to be turned into a pillar of salt. But he also wants to know:

Where were you?

With all the shit that has happened in the world, where were you? With so much death and loss and horror, where were you?

And there’s some genuinely brilliant emotional acting here. And yes, as Chuck points out, some of this is that Dean has complicated daddy abandonment issues which is somewhat reflected here. Not just abandonment though, I mean it’s not just that John abandoned Sam and Dean per se, but he also expected them, especially Dean, to step up (often from a very a young age) and do John’s job. Do we have a parallel here with Chuck’s absence and Dean stepping up to hunt? Especially since, as we see, Chuck also expects Dean to be ready to step up to face his sister Amarra as well. As well as us having Chuck say “I always had faith in you even if you didn’t return the favour.” That’s almost outright saying (without a god complex) that he is expecting Dean and Sam to step up to do what, in at least some ways, he should be doing

 Yes this is going to hit Dean’s daddy issues hard.

Anyway, Dean is not entirely happy with Chuck, nor willing to allow his excuse of having intervened in the past and it gone wrong to fly. Because it does sound like an excuse - with no real proof that Chuck did once intervene and it go wrong.

There are also some nice interactions that develop as Dean gets more casual with Chuck. Including shouting at him to stop singing in the shower (much to Sam’s horror and Dean’s “yeah, I sleep” even if god doesn’t). He’s still uncomfortable with god finding his unprecedentedly huge porn stash. And even he’s not comfortable with god walking around without trousers.

He’s not the only one with issues though – Chuck definitely has ISSUES with his son Lucifer and is not a fan of working with Lucifer to defeat Amarra.

We see more tension, especially from Dean, when Chuck refuses to be “baited” by Amarra. Which means doing nothing while she slaughters a town full of thousands. Dean is not impressed

Personally, I really do wonder why Amarra is going to destroy Earth by apparently targeting small towns in the American mid-west…

It does reveal Donatello – the new prophet! An atheist prophet who has an absolutely hilarious trial by fire as he meets god, Metatron, god’s sister and Lucifer.

Metatron gets involved because he wants to tell the Winchesters exactly what Chuck’s plan is: he wants to go to Amarra and basically offer to be imprisoned forever in exchange for her sparing his creation.

It’s kind of noble and self-sacrificing and… kind of, well, not smart? I mean can we rely on Amarra’s promise here? And even Dean points out that she actually wants to destroy everything. Noble self-sacrifice becomes blatant self-absorbed narcissistic martyrdom. It’s not a great plan

So I don’t blame Team Winchester to aim for Plan B: Donatello, Metatron and Sam go to rescue Castifer for his help while Dean distracts Amarra. She, spookily, wants him to become “boundless within her” (not innuendo. Honest. No. Really. Wait, seriously are we sure? That wasn’t innuendo? C’monnnn. I think it’d be hilarious if Dean – who thinks she wants to literally absorb him – has just really not understood that she’s baaad at pick up lines).

Metatron’s woo-woo and Donatello’s prophet early warning system means they manage to free Lucifer – but not before Amarra returns. Metatron nobly tries to sacrifice himself to stop her with his immense woo-woo knowledge… and fails dismally. In case we missed it, Amarra is just not stoppable. She kills Metatron

The end of Metatron… that’s… actually kind of huge but I think this has been an interesting arc for him as he has circled round again, even a redemption arc. I’m still surprised and wonder if there’ll be any fallout. Or if this entire season may be about cutting out a lot of these old character arcs. I wonder if season 12 will be almost a clean slate at this rate?

The team is saved by Chuck randomly deciding to intervene and teleport them to safety.  I hope, despite the awesomeness of last episode and pretty decentness of this episode, Chuck doesn’t continue because random divine intervention can ruin a show (right Once Upon a Time?).