“Gods and Monsters”
October 18, 2018
THEN: “We had a deal!”
“Who goes to Duluth in October?”
Michael, apparently. At least that’s the intel that Sister Jo/Anael provides. Angels aren’t known for their veracity – no offense, Cas – so Sam does his due diligence. He discovers a police report of a pile of bodies found in Duluth, all with neck wounds and their eyes BURNED OUT OF THEIR FOOL SKULLS.
Cas breathlessly says, “So, Michael!”
The archangel has set up shop in an abandoned church. In the first shot of the episode, the camera focuses on a broken cherubs head laying on the floor. The head is from a statue that was in the crypt of the church from Season 1’s “Houses of the Holy.” It’s shown prominently as the boys are beginning their investigation and when Father Gregory’s spirit speaks to Sam.
“Houses of the Holy” is also the first episode that makes a reference to Michael. Two weeks in a row? These callbacks might actually be intentional! Either way, kudos to Jerry Wanek and his design team for adding this lovely little detail.
Sam, Mary, and Bobby check out the bodies at the morgue and discover they’re not human. They’re vampires.
Cas hangs back at the Bunker to not babysit Nick and Jack because they’re not infants, but they do both have to be supervised. Everyone is having a hard time with Nick. When they look at him – if they can look at him – all they see is Lucifer.
Nick is struggling to understand how and why he could have said yes to the devil. Cas is like, maybe it was the unbearable pain and anguish of your murdered family?
The memories come flooding back. Nick begins looking for information about the case only to learn it was never solved. Castiel reaches out his hand to offer comfort to the distraught man. Nick stiffens and his fist shoots out into the space between them. He snaps his fingers and growls, “Don’t.”
Cas takes a couple of big steps back.
Nick is like, yeah, I’d love to stay and talk about how even though Lucifer is gone, the damage he inflicted on my psyche may have lingering effects, but I have to go to Delaware and murder my old neighbor with a hammer now.
Also Nick maybe murdered his own family? I don’t know, kudos to Mark Pellegrino for doing his best to sell this storyline, but honestly?
Jack is still in his feelings about his lost grace. Cas suggests he focus on what he does still have and uses his own short time as a human as an example. He says he had Sam and Dean and he had himself. Cas leaves out the part where Dean booted him out of the Bunker (after Gadreel forced Dean to choose between his angel and his brother) and he made his own way as a human – alone – until Heaven’s civil war drove him to start stealing grace from other angels.
Both of these things happened in episodes that BuckLeming also wrote, btw.
Cas concludes their moment of caring and sharing by telling Jack that the past is important, but not as important as the future and where he’s going. So Jack decides to go and visit his Kline grandparents.
It is both not at all what Cas was saying and also – shockingly – not a disaster. Kellys’ parents are lovely and strangely accepting of not having heard from their daughter in over a year. She has an important job and they didn’t want to push about the pregnancy, so.
And how did Jack even get there? He still has wings, but can he fly without his grace? Did he take an Uber? The bus? One of the vintage cars from the Bunker’s garage? Does he even know how to drive?
The real point is that Cas should stick to minding actual babies because he’s crap at keeping track of adults.
When he returns, Jack gets the YOUNG MAN lecture from Cas about the risk he took. The angel softens when he sees how much the experience of meeting his grandparents means to Jack. The boy worries that he should have told them the truth about Kelly. It bothers him that he couldn’t. Cas gently says Jack did it from a place of kindness.
“There are worse ways to be human than to be kind.”
Quiet settles over them. Jack asks if Sam has found Michael and if they’re going to kill him.
Cas is like, uh no. They’re going to use angel cuffs (what? Is that even a thing?) and spell work to expel Michael from Dean. Duh. Jack presses the issue, asking what they’ll do if that doesn’t work, before finally snapping that Dean doesn’t matter.
And okay, yes. Jack makes a valid point that Michael has already destroyed one world and must be stopped from destroying this one, even if that means losing Dean. And correctly says that Dean wouldn’t want it any other way. But still.
YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH. YOU SHUT IT.
Michael puts on a tux and seriously, the archangel can hang around all season if it means Show keeps putting Jensen in custom suits. That man can wear some clothes. He checks himself in the mirror and is nonplussed to see Dean looking back at him. Shaking with effort and rage, Dean barks at the angel to GET. OUT! Michael quickly recovers and reasserts himself. He drives his fist into the mirror, splintering his reflection.
“I own you. So hang on and enjoy the ride.”
Michael uses the pile of bodies, a tip from a vampire he allowed to escape, and probably the call from Sister Jo to lure Sam, Mary, and Bobby into an ambush. They’re attacked by four werewolves who are – surprise! – immune to silver. Michael wasn’t just killing vampires. He was conducting R&D to make better monsters.
Kind of like Eve back in Season 6. So I guess we’ve gone from last year ignoring that Season 6 ever happened to copying one of its major plot points? Is that what we’re doing?
There’s also no explanation why Michael switches from vampires to werewolves. Because their motives and wants are equally pure but they’re better organized than vampires? Less likely to burn out when grace is introduced into their systems? Who can say? BuckLeming certainly aren’t. But it does confirm Michael’s endgame – a world where monsters are the hunters, not the hunted, and only as many humans as needed for slave labor and food are kept alive.
Fight fight struggle fight. Sam discovers that angel grace does not render werewolves immune to death by decapitation. As the bodies drop and the dust settles two doors swing open. Michael is illuminated by a red glow coming through the windows behind him.
He takes several steps forward and reaches out his hand. Our trio brace themselves for the smiting they’re certain is coming. But the figure in front of them is reaching out his hand to steady himself. As he comes into the light, it’s clear that this is Dean.
How? How does Jensen do that?
But also, wait, what? That’s it? THAT’S IT? Michael just vacates? We don’t see what it looks like inside Dean’s head? We don’t see Dean struggling against the archangel? DEAN DOESN’T GET A BIG DAMN HERO MOMENT OF SAVING HIMSELF AND EXPELLING MICHAEL?
But I guess that’s what happening? And if so, it’s a shame. It felt like Jensen was starting to get his footing in this episode. It was clear in last season’s finale that Michael wasn’t Dean, but I think Jensen was still learning who Michael is. I was initially lukewarm to Michael because he came across as too reserved. Too much of a zealot. But in this episode it seemed like Jensen was opening up the cylinders. Michael had a little more zhoosh to him.
CHUCK DAMMIT, WHY ISN’T JENSEN ALLOWED TO HAVE FUN? WHY CAN’T HE HAVE NICE THINGS?
Although there is the possibility that Michael isn’t done with Dean yet. He could still be there, inhabiting Dean but playing possum. Gadreel established that a vessel could harbor an angel and never even know it. But if that’s the case – why? What purpose does that serve, other than a BIG SHOCKING REVEAL (which is just another way of saying lazy writing)? Michael has no reason to hide. That doesn’t fit with what (little) we know about him.
Promos for episode three, “The Scar,” suggest it’s more likely that Michael is gone but is keeping Dean tethered to him. The mark on Dean’s shoulder may allow Michael to come and go as he pleases without any further consent. “I own you” then becomes a statement of fact, not just hyperbole.
Show has played with themes of physical and emotional violation before. The boys have been tortured and tormented, Sam and Mary were both mind raped by the BMoL, and Sam hosted Gadreel unwillingly and unwittingly, but this somehow feels so much worse. The idea of Dean’s fear of being violated again by Michael, and then watching it happen, makes my stomach turn.
And I thought hate watching was only as bad as this season could get. Cheese and rice, it could get so, so much worse.
Supernatural airs Thursday at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) on The CW. Follow Whitney on Twitter @Watcher_Whitney.