The Chuck and Cascifer reunion isn’t going well. Chuck just wants to let bygones be and move on. Cascifer isn’t ready to let go of the hurt of being discarded or his anger that Dad likes his new family better. He’s also decided that the fight against the Darkness isn’t bigger than family.
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Team Amara. Go Amara.”
Cascifer is acting like a snotty teen, right down to locking himself in Sam’s room and blasting angry music. “This is like the worst episode of Full House ever.” Dean isn’t wrong, and it’s only the first of many elements in this episode that I don’t care for. Lucifer has lost his menace, and without it, he just seems small. He’s an angel. He’s the Morningstar. But he feels too human here, and I don’t like it.
Chuck is content to give Lucifer his space and wait for him to cool down. What he is not willing to give is an apology. He’s not sorry he chose humanity over Lucifer, so. Just enjoy these pancakes until the angel is done sulking.
Crowley gathers what few loyal minions he has left to make another run at the throne. “Together, we can make Hell great again.” He doesn’t get any takers. The demons only came to see the monkey dance one last time.
While Hell’s rank and file may be resigned to oblivion, Rowena is busy building an escape pod. She’s working on a time travel spell that will buy her a few more centuries of life before the world goes boom. She just needs a second to cast it.
She enlists the aid of witch Clea, after a brief negotiation over which time period they’ll call home. Rowena prefers what she knows – the Middle Ages – but Clea insists on Greek antiquity. She’s a fan of the Classics.
With time ticking, the boys facilitate a family therapy session between Lucifer and God. Dean’s been watching Dr. Phil. He suggests they start with ‘I feel’ statements. Blah blah daddy issues “You forsook me” blah. Blah blah I punished you because I hated myself and loved you too much blah.
Due credit to Misha and Rob, but I just don’t care. Show has always framed Heaven as a fractious family, but the father and son interaction between God and Lucifer is too literal. Too on the nose. It makes the divine feel common. But it gets Lucifer back on board against Amara, so. Chuck says the plan now is to trap Amara and put her back in her box. He won’t destroy her. She has to exist, the dark to his light.
So this all could have been avoided with a game of backgammon?
Here’s a thought – maybe we just stick ’em both on an island outside of time and space and call it a day. Lucifer, too. Father and son can have all the quality caring and sharing bonding time they want.
No? Moving on.
Chuck says a balance must be preserved. If it’s not – if light or dark is destroyed – the world will still end. Sam feels confident, now that Lucifer is back on the team, but Chuck cautions they’re a few members short of the original lineup.
He says Michael is in no condition to fight. And Chuck can’t put him back together again because why? He healed Lucifer. I have to imagine Amara did way more damage to Lucifer than he’s done to Michael.
And are we just not going to talk about what Lucifer did to Michael in the cage? And to Sam for that matter, if we’re keeping score of who’s owed an apology, Lucifer.
Also, Adam? Anyone? Bueller?
Rafael and Gabriel rounded out the dream team, but Chuck says it’s outside of his power to bring them back.
Did writer Robert Berens just make it canon that Gabriel is mostly all dead? It was one thing to say Dean doesn’t follow baseball, but this aggression will not stand! I mean, Robbie Thompson specifically left Gabriel’s fate ambiguous in “Meta Fiction” so that he could come back!
Now I’m wondering if Buckner and Ross-Leming locked Bobo in the storage closet and submitted this script under his name. And added the line about the archangels as an eff u to Robbie. It wouldn’t be the first time .…
So, without archangels to act as God’s banderilleros, they’re just going to have to Ocean’s 11 this bitch.
Dean, naturally, is the one to recruit Crowley. He tells the demon he can sit on the sidelines and watch the world die or he can fight. “To be king again, maybe you need to remember how to be a soldier.”
Cascifer returns to Heaven to have another go with his siblings. He’s greeted with loathing and drawn gladii. If they won’t listen to him, he asks them to lend an ear to his very own “Jiminy Cricket.” He cedes control of the vessel to Castiel. Kudos to Misha for so seamlessly transitioning between the two characters.
The angels hate Castiel only slightly less than they do Lucifer, but he at least has their attention. He says every second he has spent subordinating himself to Lucifer has been a torment. Wait, what? What happened to Lucifer mostly leaving him alone and hanging out watching television in the mind!Bunker’s kitchen? Also, Lucifer is burning through his vessel. Well, so much for Jimmy being able to handle the strain of an archangel, Samuel.
None of that matters though. Castiel says he would do it all over again, “because through me, Lucifer and God, they will defeat the Darkness.”
“It’s God’s fight. You can play a part in that fight, too. If you join me.”
Sam parlays with Rowena. She calls him “Giant,” and threatens to turn him into a moose. “An actual moose.” She’s not interested in taking on the Darkness. She serves magic, not God. Clea is all,
If it’s a choice of running or fighting – and winning – Clea wants to fight. She says she can enlist other witches to stand with them. Clea holds up her tarot deck showing the Sun card. She says there is a chance.
With their rag tag team assembled, Dean can get back to having doubts about the plan. He questions again some more the wisdom of trapping Amara. It creates the chance of her escaping and them going through this all over again. “Lot less room for error if you shoot to kill.” Sam has a confused, which is odd, because when doesn’t Dean just want to kill the thing? Cascifer pipes up to say it’s about Dean’s “girlfriend.”
“He wants Daddy to do what he couldn’t.”
Sam asks Dean if Lucifer is right. He seems surprised by the angel’s assertion, which what? Granted, I’m not sure if Sam knows about the times Dean tried to kill Amara and failed. Dean thought he was talking to Cas when he admitted the truth in “Into the Mystic.” But Sam was there for the conversation at the end of “Love Hurts” when Dean told him he didn’t think he could kill Amara. This should not be news.
Sam, don’t make me break out the Mean Girls gif.
Dean tries to disengage, but Lucifer pushes back. He says he and Chuck opened up a vein for them – although the actual caring and sharing Oprah moment took place in private after Chuck mojo’d the boys to another part of the Bunker, so. Dean isn’t allowed that courtesy.
Dean says he tried to kill Amara in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and it didn’t work. Sam continues gawping at him like a confused puppy. Seriously Sam, do you even go here? Chuck suggests that it didn’t work because Dean didn’t want it to.
And if they could all just stop judging Dean for feelings he has no control over, that he doesn’t want, and that he’s deeply disturbed by that would be great. That would be just awesome.
Sam counsels for sticking to the plan. He says for once, they don’t have to sweat the small stuff because they have God on their side. They can just do things His way, because LOL Free Will. Dean gives in. He can’t fight against God and Sam. He looks gutted. Way to have your brother’s back, Sam. Way to not listen AGAIN when Dean says to NOT TO DO THE THING.
Free Will Sure Whatever God Says Is Probably Fine assemble. Everyone makes an effort to play nice-ish. Crowley tells Lucifer there are no hard feelings. The dog collar really made his eyes pop. He almost wore it today. Lucifer apologizes to Rowena for the whole neck snapping thing, but she ain’t even bovvered.
“You think you’re the first man to try and kill me?”
The Bunker is quiet and empty. Chuck’s ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ mug is sitting on the map table. It begins to shake and rattle as a force moves through the space. The sigils designed to ward against any evil ever created evaporate one by one. The last one fades and Amara appears. She stands astride the map table – astride the world. Clever, Show.
She looks around the room and notices the mug sitting innocently at her feet. She gives it a swift kick.
Chuck appears before Team What Could Possibly Go Wrong in a blinding flash of divine light.
” … Him?”
Rowena immediately tries to curry favor by apologizing for, “well, everything I’ve ever done in my life.” She says God can’t have been a fan. Chuck agrees. He’s been quietly rooting against Rowena and Crowley for some time now. “Although, I can’t deny … you’re one of my guilty pleasures.” Rowena squees. Crowley throws up in his mouth a little.
Dean snaps that there will be no flirting. And no fighting. No deals. No discussion of who’s owed what when the dust settles. “Nobody likes each other. It doesn’t matter.” Dean nods to Chuck. The floor is his.
Chuck says Amara will show as soon as he drops his warding. When she does, she’ll be expecting a fight – and they’ll give it to her. “Shock and awe.” The witches, demons, and angels will attack in waves to weaken Amara before Lucifer confronts her one-on-one.
Dean raises his hand. What about Cas? And seriously, what about Cas. Show hasn’t known what to do with him since Season 6. Lucifer snarks that the safety of Dean’s “pet” is his highest concern. He rolls his eyes and says Cas is on board.
It would have been nice for Dean to hear that directly from his angel since they haven’t had a scene together since “The Devil in the Details.”
When Amara is at her most vulnerable, Chuck says he will take the Mark back and use it to seal her away. “You ready?”
Sam says he is.
Chuck gets a ‘BECAUSE I SAID SO’ look on his face. Sam can barely look at Dean. He says he and God talked about it. Apparently that scene was filmed, but cut for time. Because I guess Crowley and Rowena’s take back Hell / let’s get the hell out of here scenes were more important to the story.
Whatever, Show. What. Ever. Dean immediately says he should be the one to bear the Mark. He calls himself damaged goods. Chuck agrees. Dean is tainted.
Excuse me a minute, I just need to do this one thing …
You know, my greatest fear isn’t that Supernatural will start sucking, but that it will start sucking and I’ll be reduced to hate recapping it like TWoP’s Demian did during Charmed‘s last season.
I love this show. And I love Robert Berens. “Executioner’s Song” is one of my all time favorite episodes. DON’T MAKE ME START HATE RECAPPING ON YOUR WATCH, BOBO.
Dean drags Sam off to the side for a private word. “First Cas is making kamikaze side plans and now you? You couldn’t have talked to me?” He asks Sam what happens when the Mark takes hold of him? Sam duhs that Dean will just lock him up and throw away the key. Easy like a Sunday morning. Never mind that Sam is asking Dean to do something the he himself refused to do.
And then, AND THEN, Sam puts the responsibility for this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea on DEAN. “You told me you couldn’t beat Amara. That it would have to be me. Well, this is it. Me.”
I just hate everything right now.
Dean hates every part of this plot point as much as I do. He looks like he’s dying a little inside at the thought of watching Sam go through what he did. Of watching the Mark change him. But Dean does what he always does when push shoves, and he backs his brother’s play. “Okay, Sam. Okay.”
It falls to Rowena to lure Amara into the open. She was in Amara’s head once. It’s easy enough to find her way back in. Amara is in Dean’s room creeping through his things. She pulls out a larger framed version of the snapshot of wee!Dean and Mary.
There is a sense of wistful longing as Amara looks at it. With so much emphasis this episode and last on loving fathers who just couldn’t be the parents their children needed, I have to think (hope) that mothers – that Mary – will have some role to play (again) in the season finale.
Amara knows she’s being summoned into a trap but she doesn’t care. All that matters is the chance to confront her brother. Clea casts a spell, channeling the power of the newly assembled coven into Rowena. Rowena avada kedavras at the Darkness. The attack drives Amara to her knees, but she quickly recovers. She reverses the polarity, killing the coven witches and BURNING THEIR EYES OUT OF THEIR FOOL SKULLS, EEP!
“Points for trying.”
Rowena cowers on the ground. The clouds above begin to swirl. Heaven is massing for the second wave attack. Amara smiles, almost welcoming the smiting.
The demons descend in the final wave before Amara can fully recover. You would think that since they’re really just souls that Amara would be able to consume them, but there are too many. They swirl around her, lifting her off her feet.
Crowley walks outside. The demon vacates its meatsuit and slams into Amara, knocking her out of the air. She crashes into a parked car and crumples to the ground.
Rusty hinges squeal as Amara stumbles through the power plant’s door. She groans from the effort. Dean moves toward her in a daze. Sam puts a hand on his shoulder to hold him back. The only person Amara sees is Chuck.
She tells him he cheated. Again. And that’s when Lucifer runs her through from behind with a spear. He moves to deliver the killing blow, but Chuck calls him off. Amara is curled in a ball of pain at his feet. Chuck says he’s sorry. “For this. For everything.”
“An apology at last. What’s ‘sorry’ to me?”
Amara spits through a mouth full of blood that she spent millions of years crammed in a cage. “Alone. And afraid. Wishing – begging – for death, because of you!” Sam and Dean stand by in silence. They both look sick. Emily Swallow is bringing it in this scene. Kudos.
She demands to know what her crime was. She needs to hear her brother say it. Chuck crouches down next to Amara. He shouts that the world needed to be born! “And you wouldn’t let me!” He insists she gave him no choice.
“That’s your story. Not mine.”
Amara looks to Sam and Dean – her witnesses. She says she and Chuck were equals. They weren’t great or powerful because they stood only in relation to each other. She sneers that Chuck didn’t make the archangels to bring light. He made them to create lesser beings.
“To make you large. To make you Lord.”
Amara drags herself to her feet. She stands over Chuck and shouts that it was ego! “You wanted to be big!” It’s interesting that in “All in the Family,” Amara encouraged Dean to give up his “smallness.” She told him that in her, everyone is boundless. From Amara’s perspective, she’s restoring the balance that Chuck upset.
Chuck doesn’t deny it. He says it’s true. Amara is stunned by the admission. Vindication washes over her. She gets to enjoy it for a hot second, because – BUT – it isn’t the whole truth. Chuck says there’s a value, a glory, in creation, “that’s greater and truer than my pride and my ego.” Call it grace or being, it didn’t come from Chuck’s hands.
“It was there. Waiting to be born.”
He says creation just IS. “As you and I just WERE.” Since Amara has been freed, Chuck knows that she’s seen it. “The sweet triumph and the even sweeter folly of what He’s wrought.” He nods at Dean. He knows she’s felt it.
Chuck’s face glows when he talks about creation. The ineffable something that is greater and purer than both of them. Amara looks scared and sad. And then the anger comes rushing back.
“It didn’t have to be like this! I loved you, brother.”
No wonder Dean and Amara are so connected. They both have abandonment issues and they both suffer from the crippling sense of never being enough for the people they love.
Amara ruefully laughs to herself. She took her shot and said her piece. She quietly tells Chuck he’s won again. The tone of defeated inevitability in her voice just kills me. It kicks Dean in the chest too. Amara tells Chuck to finish it. He tries to keep from breaking down as he says again, “I’m sorry.”
The Mark glows, burning through the fabric of Amara’s dress. At the same time Sam grimaces and clutches his arm as God transfers the lock and key to him. Dean is by Sam’s side, supporting him.
Just as the Mark begins to fade from her skin, Amara cries out, “Not again!” and grabs her brother by the throat. “NOT EVER AGAIN!” Amara releases her hold. God hangs suspended, dangling in the air, gasping for breath. Lucifer picks up his spear with a shout. Amara sends him sailing through the air and crashing into a pillar. She yanks him out of the vessel. “Goodbye, nephew.”
Well played VFX team. Aces work! Dean calls out Castiel’s name and charges Amara. Through the air he goes, too. This is just between the siblings now.
“I’d die a million times. Murder you a million more before going back there!”
The Mark fades from Sam’s arm and returns to Amara. Whew! Season 12 bullet dodged, there! The darkness manifests from Amara in a cloud of black smoke. Tendrils coil around her before attacking Chuck. The dark consumes the light.
“Tell me … if you won’t change, why should I?”
WHAT JUST HAPPENED? WHAT EVEN IS THIS EPISODE??
Rowena comes to on the pavement outside. Chuck’s protection seems to have spared her from the smiting’s fallout. She shields her eyes against the harsh orange light, but it’s unclear if it’s the rising sun of Clea’s tarot or something apocalyptic.
Light streams through the power station’s windows. Amara’s wounds are healed and her gown has been treated to some of that divine dry cleaning. Chuck lays unmoving on the floor.
Amara says he’s not dead, but he is dying. He will dim and fade away into nothing … but not until he sees what comes next. “Not until he watches this world – everything he created, everything he loves – turn to ash.
“Welcome to the end.”
The end? Did she say the end? Thigh holsters for all! TEAM AMARA!
Wednesday Thursday at 8:00 p.m. on The CW. Follow Whitney on twitter @Watcher_Whitney.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site chron.com.