Supernatural: Gods and Monsters

"We don't usually see this kind of action in Duluth."

What an interesting and unexpectedly emotional episode.

Archangel Michael has an inferiority complex when it comes to God, doesn't he? He chose the ruins of a church for the setting of his angel and monster experimentation, and kept deflecting the understandable assumption that he was a god. How many angels are left now? Are they close to being wiped out?

Actually, I found the back and forth with the vampires and werewolves and Lydia and Melanie and Philippe somewhat confusing. What exactly was Michael doing? Did he infuse werewolves with stolen angel grace to make them superpowered? Whatever it is, silver bullets won't take them down any more. (At least beheading still works.) And why did Michael leave Dean's body behind? It's just too easy that Dean is suddenly free; there had to be a reason. Can Michael just jump back in anytime?

While I'm happy Dean is free again, and I really enjoyed Sam on the hunt with Bobby and Mary, Castiel's adventures in babysitting were the better part of the episode.

Apparently, according to the angel lore that probably doesn't apply to nephilim, Jack's grace might take over a century to regenerate. Misha Collins gave a particularly strong performance this time when he gently explained to Jack how being without his own grace taught him to rely on himself. And suggesting patience by talking about how Dean and Sam weren't born with their considerable monster-hunting skills, that it took years of training to hone their skills and become who they were.

It seemed almost like a natural progression that Jack then chose to go visit Kelly Kline's parents, a much more effective search for his antecedents than talking to Nick in the basement. Jack told the Klines a softer version of the truth – that Kelly had made him who he was, but in a work setting. He wanted to tell them the whole truth, but Jack has grown up enough that he restrained himself. Telling them she was dead would have destroyed them, and accepting Jack as their grandson would be too much of a leap.

Later, Jack was the one to state the obvious – that killing Michael was the priority, not saving Dean. He was absolutely right that Dean would be the first to agree to that, too.

Which brings me to Nick, and talk about a one-eighty. At the start of the episode, I felt so bad for Nick, who was reliving some of the horrible things that Lucifer did. Nick hadn't even remembered the loss of his wife and son (they now have names: Sarah and Teddy) and wow, what an exceptional performance by Mark Pellegrino. Especially when he accused Castiel of ruining Jimmy Novak's life which, to be fair, is absolutely true.

Then there was the little shocker when Nick was pissed at Castiel and channeled Lucifer, snapping his fingers at Castiel as if he intended to explode him. Castiel said Lucifer had inflicted damage on Nick's psyche, which makes sense because how could he not. But what happened to Nick's family? What did Arty witness when Sarah and Teddy were killed, and why did he take it back? Will we ever know now that Nick killed Arty with a hammer? That was of course a huge hint that Nick also killed his wife and baby and possibly didn't remember that he had. Is the real Nick a schizophrenic serial killer or something?

This aftermath story thing for Lucifer/Nick was a surprise, but I think it was a good move on the part of the writers. Mark Pellegrino has been hanging around the show for a long time and has done such a good job with Lucifer that he deserves a different and compelling subplot of his own.

Bits:

— It's really lovely to have Bobby back and fighting monsters, even if he's not the same Bobby. Because he's still Bobby, you know? He and Mary would make a formidable hunting pair, wouldn't they?


— Bobby said that he was rusty with the FBI stuff because it's been fifteen years since the angels started taking over. Does that mean Apocalypse World was sort of like ours fifteen years ago? Interestingly, that was when Supernatural began. Coincidence?

— Kelly named Jack after her own father. That was sweet.

— I try to keep my occasional drool to a minimum, but Jensen Ackles in a tux? Wow. The butcher's apron was less attractive, though. What can I say. I don't like seeing Dean as a serial killer, even when it's not him.

— This week: A lot of Duluth. And Pike Creek, Delaware, where Nick once lived.

— This episode was directed by Richard Speight, Jr., a.k.a. Gabriel/Trickster. It's the seventh episode he's directed. He's becoming an old hand.

Quotes (and I'm going more with the serious ones this time):

Bobby: "Who goes to Duluth in October? You sure Michael didn't touch down in Orlando?"
Mary: "Joe was pretty specific. Duluth."
Bobby: "Well, angels ain't known for their veracity. (Castiel comes in) No offense."
Castiel: "None taken. I tend to agree with you."

Castiel: "A man... broke into your house, and you weren't there."
Nick: "That was no man. That's not a man. That's a monster. That's a monster. And then... Lucifer found me and made me a monster, too. Oh my god!"

Morgue attendant: "The boys upstairs think maybe we're looking at a spree killer."
Bobby: "If they were DOA, do you have an ETA on TOD? Any sample DFA?"
(Sam clears his throat)
Bobby: "DNA?"

Castiel: "This was Jimmy Novak."
Nick: "Occupy. Sounds like a cleaned up way of saying 'steal.' And, um, Jimmy? Is that his name? He all right with that?"
Castiel: "Yes, he was."
Nick: "Was?"
Castiel: "Jimmy's dead."
Nick: "Castiel, you're just a stone cold body snatcher. You're no different than Lucifer."
Point to Nick. Plus there's the underlying weirdness in their conversation that Lucifer possessed Castiel as well as Nick.

Castiel: "You know, in all my thousands of years... what happened to Jimmy Novak and his family... it's my greatest regret."

Castiel: (to Jack) "What you did, you did from a place of kindness. I suppose there are worse ways to be human than to be kind."

Sorry this review is a bit late. I've been dealing with a cold and some unexpected writers' block. What did you all think of this one?

Billie
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Billie Doux has been reviewing Supernatural for so long that Dean and Sam Winchester feel like old friends. Courageous, adventurous, gorgeous old friends.

3 comments:

Dragonfire said...

I liked the way the episode was executed, I didn't like the way the plot went.
I was actually really hoping that we'd get more than two episodes of Michael!Dean this time. Based on what Jensen was saying in interviews, i was thinking we'd at least get Michael for four or five episodes, and I was hoping for midseason finale. So when we got dean back, end of the second episode, with no big battle or even reason why Michael would've left him, well, I was surprised, and not in a good way.
I also wanted to see more of Sam working to save Dean, and Apocalypse World Hunters working to kill Miachel, and all of that, and instead we got one conversation between Cs and Jack.

But despite that, I think they did the episode really well, and seeing the influence Lucifer had on Nick was slightly terrifying and really cool. Plus, maybe well have it be Michael in disguies, or have it be a ploy to insinuate himself into the hunters, and that'd be cool too.
Three out of four stars.

TheShadowKnows said...

So I read that this season is going to be a full season after all (well, 20 episodes) and this may NOT be the last season. Both of those are changes from what the CW had been saying.

Billie Doux said...

Dragonfire, I'm relatively certain we haven't seen the last of Michael as Dean. It was just too abrupt.

TheShadowKnows, I think I've officially stopped expecting this show to end. Maybe that means it finally will. :)