December 6, 2018
Sam, Dean, and Cas are all gathered in Jack’s room. The Boy of the Camellias tells them not to be sad. A coughing spell comes over him and he drags in a breath from the oxygen mask by his bed—which honestly just made me laugh, because I’m dead inside.
Jack asks Sam what happens next for someone like him. Sam admits that he doesn’t know. Jack smiles and his expression softens.
“Then it’s going to be an adventure.”
And okay, not totally dead because the Little Prince-ness of that line just got me.
And the Jack dies.
Wait, what? Really? Huh. It won’t take.
Jack’s soul settles into its little corner of Heaven. He takes a bite of a cheeseburger that’s the size of his head. Dean spreads out a paper map on Baby’s hood. Team Free Will 2.0 is on its way to Dodge City. Jack experiences a Matrix-style glitch in the memory and realizes something is wrong.
He soon finds himself standing in one of Heaven’s bright white corridors. The lights are flickering, signaling perhaps that finally—only 12 episodes later—Show is remembering the whole Heaven powering down thing.
Jack hears a wet gurgling sound behind him and turns to see a flood of inky black goo spilling down the hall. He hotfoots it the other way, eventually ending up in the single perfect spring day of his mother’s heaven. There is hugging. YAY! HUGGING! Kelly takes the news of her own death in stride, but is devastated when she realizes why Jack is there with her.
The boys are also very sad. Sam goes off on his own to cut down the trees for Jack’s pyre. The ax breaks and I felt quite certain that Sam was going to karate chop the rest of the trees down.
Dean calls Mary. And I know there’s only so much you can write into an episode, but once again Dean reaches out to one of his parents in a time of need and they can’t be arsed to pick up the phone.
Tomorrow they’ll say their goodbyes to Jack. Tonight, they drink.
Can Dean and Cas even get drunk?
Jack’s three dads sit together in the Bunker’s kitchen. Dean pours. They share memories of a boy who was alive for 10 minutes, a good portion of which he spent off-screen or in the Apocalypse!verse. The Allman Brothers play over the scene. I thought initially the music was to mask the fact that there’s no real dialog, just Jared and Jensen talking shit trying to crack Misha up. But apparently, I was wrong!
“He loved nutty cream.”
Sam peels off first, followed by Cas, leaving Dean with only the empties and his own regret for company. He wakes up the next morning face down on the table with a thick head and sweaters on his teeth. Voices float into the kitchen from another room. Dean painfully and unsteadily follows them to the map room where Cas and Sam are conferring with Lily Sunder.
“You got old.”
Lily blandly says it’s an unfortunate side effect of giving up angel magic. Dean’s foggy brain is having a hard time processing her presence. He says the last time they saw her she tried to kill Cas. Sam explains he called her in for her angel expertise. They’ve been through all the lore except Kevin’s translations of the Angel Tablet. Sam thought maybe Lily could help. Help them find a miracle that could bring Jack home.
Lily sifts through Kevin’s notes and is like, yeah no. She can’t read them. She offers her magic as an alternative. Lily explains that her magic draws its power from the human soul. Jack wouldn’t need to use all of his. Dean immediately takes a hard pass. Sam is like, how much soul are we talking? Lily says it won’t cost much—as long as Jack only uses it to sustain his body. He’ll never miss it.
Uh huh. A kid with the life experience of a toddler and the impulse control of a teenager. What could possibly go wrong?
Dean is deeply suspicious of this plan. He asks Lily what the catch is. She tells them that she’s dying and is pretty sure she’s going to Hell. She murdered a lot of angels. She doesn’t expect them to welcome her with open arms.
So if they want her help, they’ll need to get her into Heaven.
The boys step into the library to discuss Lily’s offer. They each take a position that reflects their own experiences of soullessness. Dean is firmly against any action that could put Jack’s soul at risk, even if it means bringing him back. Sam is willing to take their shot, hedging that it’s not all of Jack’s soul. Cas says it’s a decision that Jack should be allowed to make for himself.
But first, they have to solve the problem of getting Lily into Heaven. Dean suggests talking to Billie—or even kidnapping a Reaper—but Cas says they’re not the ones who make that final call. That’s the job of Anubis, guardian of the dead. Sam has a confused. He says in Egyptian mythology the weighing of the heart ceremony was conducted by Osiris. They’ve met him.
Look at Show coming strong again with the reference to a previous episode! Cas is like, AS I WAS SAYING, when Chuck left, Heaven needed a new judge. They chose Anubis.
The boys make room to cast the summoning spell, despite Dean’s mistrust of Lily and misgivings about using “soul-sucking magic.” Sam argues that making crappy deals is what they do.
Someday this big dumb dummy will listen when Dean says not to do the thing, but today is not that day.
Dean presses Lily on the questions that are bothering him most. Why did she stop using her magic? Why is she letting herself get old? Why is she letting herself die? Why risk going to Hell if she doesn’t have to. Lily’s answer is simple.
She says she has a sliver—a whisper—of a soul left. A whisper of a chance to be reunited with her child in Heaven. Now does Dean understand?
With that settled, their second challenge is yanking Jack’s soul out of Heaven and shoving it back into his corpse. A task made all the more difficult when Cas reports that all of Haven’s gates are open—even the ones Metatron closed—and angel radio is playing a distress signal.
Castiel discovers two dead angels in a goo strewn wing of Heaven. He crouches down next to one as the other, Allie from The 100, gasps back to consciousness. She follows Cas and they’re both soon joined in Jack’s heaven by Col. Samantha Carter from Stargate SG-1. She tells Cas he’s not the only one looking for Jack.
The Empty wants him, too.
Carter says they must meet the Empty’s demand to hand over Jack or Heaven will fall and 46,750,000,000 human souls will be cast in the wind. “What’s one Nephilim boy against all that?” There’s no time for debate as the Empty suddenly attacks and begins to consume Carter. She shouts at Cas to run!
Anubis appears in the middle of the summoning circle. I was hoping that Show would go meta and cast Mr. Jacquel himself, Chris Obi, but alas. The god seems amused when he realizes who has called him. He says the files of the brothers Winchester have come across his desk many times. Lily says she needs to know where she’s going when she dies.
Anubis considers her request. It’s unorthodox and against protocol, but since he’s already there … He pulls an abacus from his satchel and places Lily’s hand above it. In the final accounting, Lily is found lacking.
Sam tells him to change it, but Anubis says it’s not up to him. He doesn’t have that kind of power. He doesn’t decide who gets into Heaven. God doesn’t even decide. Humans decide, through their individual choices. Anubis tells them they can keep him trapped there. It won’t change Lily’s fate—but it might change theirs. Sam breaks the circle, releasing the god.
Lily heads for the door. No Heaven, no spell. Sam shouts at her that Jack is their kid. Dean pulls the trigger on the other barrel. He says Lily isn’t even human anymore. Not really. Otherwise, how could she ever, ever let someone else go through what she did? He pleads with her. Don’t do this to them.
Castiel finds Jack with Kelly and there is more hugging. YAY! MORE HUGGING! He explains the soul-sucking magic solution with the added wrinkle that it’s the only option for keeping Jack out of the Empty.
Except for the part where Allie from The 100 has been controlled by the Empty the whole time and Cas just led her right to Jack.
The Empty’s face crumples as she looks at Jack and Kelly. She says they look scared. She seems affected by their fear. She asks Cas if it hurts him … and then she smiles. Because she wants it to hurt.
And I am 100% down with having the Empty stick around if it’s played by Erica Cerra. I like her take as an unhinged, malevolent entity driven mad by its wakefulness. The tremor in her voice and hitch in her breathing suggests a being that’s only barely holding itself together—literally.
And all of the kudos for not trying to mimic Misha’s performance, specifically the voice that I described as Colonel Lanza from Inglorious Basterds doing a Skeletor impression. I was not a fan, y’all. Not a fan.
Castiel attacks the Empty, who sends him sailing across the room with a wave of her hand. The angel’s eyes roll back in his head as Dean begins praying. They have Jack’s body and Lily has reconsidered. They’re ready to do the spell.
The Empty gets Jack by the throat. Cas offers himself in trade. He’s the one the Empty really wants. The one who woke it up. The Empty is intrigued enough to drop Jack but says that Cas is already hers. Cas counters that he won’t die for years. Eons maybe. But if the Empty agrees, he’ll go now and go willingly.
The Empty counter-offers. She agrees to the trade, but she won’t take Cas now. Only later, at the moment when he finally gives himself permission to be happy, that’s when she’ll come for him.
“That’s when I’ll come to drag you to nothing.”
Jack demands to know why Cas would make such a deal. Uh, because it’s how Winchesters say I love you? Keep up, kid. Cas looks at Kelly and simply says he made a promise. And then he tells Jack he loves him, because that’s how Castiel says I love you. By speaking the actual words out loud.
Also, Winchesters show love by keeping secrets from each other, so Cas is going to need Jack is ix-nay on the whole making a deal with the Empty-hay thing.
Kelly sends her son off with her blessings. She tells him to have a great life. And kudos to Courtney Ford and Alexander Calvert for making the most out of every moment they’re on screen together and selling the hell out of the mother and child reunion. Well played.
Cas takes Jack’s face in his hands and sends the boy’s soul back to his body. Jack gasps and sits bolt upright in the Bunker. Sam shoves a piece of paper in his hands and tells him to start reading out loud. He completes the incantation and his eyes glow golden as body and soul are restored.
Lily walks past a row of filing cabinets into a large, cluttered office. Anubis is sitting at his desk. The wall behind him is dominated by a ticking clock face. He pulls out the abacus and holds his hand out to her. Would Lily care to try her luck again? The scale tips, this time in her favor.
Anubis asks Lily if she knew what doing the spell would cost her. A slight nod of her head is all the answer she’s able to give. Anubis smiles and tells her to say hello to her daughter for him.
Samantha Carter is waiting in the hall when Cas steps out of Kelly’s heaven. He tenses, but she’s not there to fight. She wants to thank him. She knows the deal he made wasn’t for Heaven’s benefit, but it saved them nonetheless. And as a sign of her gratitude, she might just have an idea where Michael is.