Saturday, May 20, 2017

Supernatural, Season 12, Episode 23: All Along the Watchtowers

Carry on my wayward son!

I forgot this was the season finale! I was totally awesome ambushed by the music. There will now be a pause while I play the opening credits 11 times or more. Best. Soundtrack. Ever.

Castiel and Kelly are hold up in the cabin in the woods and it’s all looking peaceful and shiny. We have lots of Castiel desperately researching fatherhood. We have some emotional scenes from Kelly as she talks about her son and the future she hopes for him while also painfully realising that she’ll never get to see him, she’ll die because of his nephilimness

And can we talk about how we’ve never really gone into this? Even this episode talks not about Kelly dying but literally how she won’t be a mother to her unborn child. Did she have no life before this? Does she not envisage any life after this? She worked on the President’s staff – don’t tell me she wasn’t a woman with a career and ambition and life! To have her get pregnant and that be the sum total of her existence is grossly reductive. To have her thoughts of dying be only about how she won’t be able to raise her demon baby – however emotional – completely removes her as a person. Kelly is a walking incubator which, along with the dubiousness of Mary last episode and fitting her more firmly into the Mother Role is deeply problematic. These women have lives and existences outside of reproduction and its down a terrible job of representing that.

Sam, Dean and Mary have put their own issues on hold to try and find Lucifer – and stop him before he gets the baby. The baby itself is now low priority – they also believe Crowley is dead, which turns out to be wrong since he managed to body jump into a rat before being stabbed. Desperate times call for convenient rodents

But when they try to contact Rowena who caged Lucifer last time- they get Lucifer. He claims to have brutally murdered Rowena and we have a body apparently proving it. RIP Rowena? Damn, I will miss her… and not – I liked her as a character. She was fun, powerful, shameless and unapologetically focused on her own will however evil. But she also ruined every storyline with Crowley – because of his terrible character development. On the whole, Rowena will be missed.

Crowley does drop in though with a revelation and a deal: he doesn’t want to be king of hell. As I’ve observed for several seasons now he seems to have little or no interest in actually running hell. On top of that he is constantly being challenged and his life threatened. He’s done – and he’s willing to lock down the gates of hell so all demons (Except him) are trapped if he can join in defeating Lucifer. Now there’s a switch – does that make Crowley solidly Team Winchester?

And why throw in with the Winchesters? Well, when it comes to the end of the world, the Winchesters tend to win. They do have a track record – these “beautiful lumbering piles of flannel” which made me laugh so hard – I’m not the only one who snarks the flannel

Giving birth to a Nephilim has also created other side effects – including a portal to an alternate dimension. In this world everything is awful and Castiel visits to check this out – nearly being killed by a demon and being saved by – ALTERNATE WORLD BOBBY! Yes Bobby lives!

This alternate world – as Castiel explains to Sam and Dean when they catch up (and of course they arrive. Yes they have issues with Castiel but ultimately, allowing Lucifer find the baby is a BAD IDEA) – is a parallel Earth. One in which the Winchesters were never born (so Alternate Bobby doesn’t know them) so they weren’t in a position to save the world. If nothing else, this world is proof the Winchesters have done more good than harm despite almost ending the world a dozen times or more. Because they’ve stopped it ending a dozen and ONE times. This Earth is a warzone between angels and demons and they’re all happy to murder humans caught in the cross fire. It’s not a happy fun place.

Bobby also has a gun that fires bullets made from melted down angel blades. Dean thinks this is awesome. Castiel gives him some quality side-eye

Of course this isn’t the first alternate dimension they’ve been to – shout out to the hilarious 4th wall breaking episode

Castiel is sure demon baby –Jake – will fix it. Sam and Dean don’t have his faith.

While this is going on, Mary is helping Kelly in labour with lots of ominous “wouldn’t you die for your sons”. Yesssssss Supernatural can we not? We have issues here, big issues

When Lucifer does arrive, there’s a plan (Since Chuck/god has decided to opt out of things AGAIN) – lure him to the portal! He follows, eager for some fun squishy dismemberment and in the alternate world Dean gets to play with his angel killing machine gun

Angel killing. Not Archangel killing. Not Lucifer killing. Merely delaying. Which leaves Lucifer free to beat up Dean while Crowley and Sam implement Plan B – a spell to lock Lucifer in the alternate world

Unfortunately – it takes a life. And to seal that, after a big confrontation with Lucifer…. Crowley kills himself. Stabbing himself with an angel blade- complete with light effects…

Wait, what whoa no that didn’t happen?! I mean does a demon even count as a sacrifice? Apparently it does – as the portal starts acting up

And then Castiel appears to distract Lucifer while Sam and Dean escape the portal. Which they do – and Castiel manages to follow them. But so does Lucifer… and stabs Castiel in the back. Killing him – complete with light show…

….Castiel is dead as well?! What what what what?

That leaves one more side character – Mary – fresh from Kelly’s death/birth bed. She attacks Lucifer with the Men of Letter’s anti-angel knuckle dusters and manages to drive him through the portal. Which closes after them. After both of them.

Mary is now stuck in the alternate dimension. With Lucifer. Lucifer is now pleased.


I Had a moment of shock. I had several moments of shock

And now I say no. No, killing Rowena, Castiel, Crowley and Mary? All of them? Seriously this is nearly the entire supporting cast of Supernatural. There’s no way. Absolutely no way Supernatural is having this big of a reboot. No way. I don’t buy it. One. Two. Maybe. But all four? And Castiel? Naaaah, the writers aren’t that daft.

Especially when Sam goes to see Kelly’s body and finds the naked, apparently nearly adult Nephilim Jake. Whose betting resurrection is one of his talents?

I think the finale has over-egged the shock here. There’s too much so I suspect a lot will be undone

As for the season… I think we had two plot lines and not enough devotion to either. We had Lucifer and the demon baby that kind of fell into the background with the big bad princes of hell becoming speed bumps and not really enough research into what a Nephilim means and lots of everyone seeming to forget about this apparently world ending event

And then we have the Men of Letter’s storyline which managed to consume the plot but only limp forward due to many plot conveniences – not least of which is the sheer dubious way the Men of Letters operates; their terrible defence, their constant killing of each other, the lack of battle training. Everything about them made sense if you saw how the plot had to work –but there’s just absolutely no way these guys managed to keep the UK supernatural free.

I feel if both plot lines were given more time/space they could have been developed more sensibly along with more fleshed out Mary mother/person development – because there has been a huge issue this season with Mary, Kelly and motherhood

In terms of minority characters – bit inclusion for one off episodes is pretty much the norm. For this season and Supernatural in general