April 5, 2019
THEN: “You can burn.”
It’s family game night at the Bunker. Mary’s idea. She thought it would be nice to stay in for a change. HAHAHAHA oh, that’s not a joke. Huh. For the purposes of this episode, Mary is being written as someone who isn’t itching to ditch her family at the drop of a hat.
I have a bad feeling about this …
Dean has set up the classic game Mouse Trap, and I really can’t stress enough just how badly I wanted this game as a child. It’s tied with Don’t Break the Ice for the game I most yearned for and never had.
Mary and Jack are in charge of snacks. Jack is cooking up the Jiffy Pop on a burner with no heat under it. He must be using HIS MIND! Mary asks Jack how he’s doing. He flatly tells her it’s annoying how often he’s asked that. Mary’s eyebrow pop says, ‘Teenagers. I missed that the first go round.’
She tells Jack that if he ever wants to talk or vent … the boy schools his face to wipe away the scowl and turns back to Mary with a face as open and innocent as a kitten. She’s here. He knows. Mary follows him into the library hiding her own sense of misgiving.
Dean checks a missed call and puts the message from Donatello on speaker. He’s in trouble and pleads for Sam and Dean to help him. Sam is still out picking up the pizza and doesn’t pick up his phone. Dean tells Jack to stay behind and give Sam the sitrep while he and Mary hit the road.
“So much for game night.”
In the car, Mary frets over the mental and emotional states of her boys. She wishes there was something she could do. Dean says she’s here. That’s the most important thing to him. Just that she’s here.
That’s the second time someone has said that. Mary’s going to die, isn’t she?
Mary says she should have been here more, but blames it on her nature. She says she can be closed off and hard. Dean teases that that’s where he gets it from. Is that meant to be a joke about how they’re two characters that feel too much? What even is this exchange?
Anyhoo, Mary makes a point of telling Dean how grateful she is for every day she gets to spend with him and Sam.
Castiel meets with Anael. He asks for her help contacting Chuck. Apparently, before she was demoted to a button pusher, she was Joshua’s right hand. Joshua was the only angel Chuck spoke to, and Anael knows how they communicated.
Well, that’s quite a retcon, but I’ll allow it.
Cas tells Anael that Jack killed Michael—which I guess is final confirmation that the archangel is well and truly no takes back dead. Which, again, is a disappointing and anticlimactic end for a character that could have been an incredible Big Bad.
Andrew Dabb is why Jensen can’t have nice things.
Castiel adds that in killing Michael, Jack burned off his soul. They don’t know how much, because LALALALALALA SEASON 6 NEVER HAPPENED EPISODE 6.07 FAMILY MATTERS SAYS WHAT? But regardless, they know Jack is at a soul deficit, and the only one who can restore a soul is Chuck.
Anael takes a hard pass on helping, but reconsiders when Cas pockets the cursed, but oh so shiny, ruby earrings he brought in trade. She says that Joshua never spoke to Chuck; Chuck spoke to him—but—rumor has it that after the fall, Joshua placed a long distance call and Chuck picked up.
She directs Cas to a warehouse business full of objects, goods, trash, and treasure. Its owner, Methuselah, sheltered Joshua after the fall. Methuselah corrects Anael’s statement—he says they were roommates. Joshua made a mean lasagna.
Cas demands to know how Joshua communicated with Chuck and threatens to burn the building to the ground. Methuselah is like lemme get some marshmallows. He wishes Cas would put him out of his bajillionty-year-old misery. The angel’s eyes begin to glow and when did Cas get all smitey? Anymore he goes from zero to IMMA FUCK SOME SHIT UP instantly.
Methuselah tells them that Joshua’s MacGuffin is in the warehouse somewhere. They’re welcome to look. He’s sure they’ll know it when they see it.
Searching through the warehouse. Searching through the warehouse. Searching through the warehouse. They blah blah about what motivates Anael and what it says about their absentee father that he will save one angel while allowing millions to die screaming.
Anael declares herself done after she steps on a rat and calls Cas out on the real reason for his quest. She says that, in his mind, calling God is easier than admitting to Sam and Dean that Jack’s soul is gone—and there’s nothing they can do about it. She tells Cas they should call it a night.
And then he sees it. Hanging on a jewelry display among the cheap gold chains he sees it.
Cas says he’s seen it before, which is JUST the understatement of the century. Anael asks him where, and again, how to even start unpacking that answer. Methuselah compliments Cas on his good eye. He says Joshua forged this amulet after he fell. Cas places his call, pleading with Chuck for help.
“Yeah, it never worked for Joshua either.”
Sam and Jack work together to translate the second half of Donatello’s message, spoken in ancient Hebrew. A language which, get this, Sam understands and identifies as a passage from the Bible, Peter 5:8.
Be sober. Be vigilant. Because your adversary, the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.
Mary and Dean arrive at Donatello’s to find Nick.
Donatello has been spirited away to an undisclosed location and also injected with a deadly dose of the poison thalium. Now, presumably, that location is somewhere within an hour or two radius of his home. But instead of staying put in Oklahoma and beating Nick to death there, or calling Cas to pull the information out of Nick’s head, Dean and Mary haul his carcass all the way back to the Bunker.
Work smarter, not harder.
Their concern for Donatello, and the ticking clock, blinkers their vision. To be fair, they don’t know about Nick’s fixation on Lucifer. Sam asks the question, “what game is [Nick] playing”, but they don’t spend any time teasing out an answer.
While Dean is flexing some of his old torturer muscles, Sam announces his candidacy for mayor of Guiltville. It’s one town over from Self Loathington. Donatello and all of Nick’s other victims are on him because he let Nick go.
Mary tries to absolve Sam. She says that Nick’s choices are his and his alone. Sam thought Nick deserved a chance, and gave him one out of empathy. Because Sam is a good man. Mary says it’s one of the reasons she’s so proud of him.
Mary is totally going to die.
Nick tells Dean through a mouthful of blood that he wants to talk to “his son.” Mary immediately—and wisely—shuts that down. Dean dismisses Nick as crazy while Jack puffs out his chest and says he’s not afraid of him. They both continue not considering that there is more at play than what they can see on the surface.
Sam has been quiet, lost in his own thoughts. Jack prompts him, and Sam says, “I mean …”
“ ‘I mean’, what do you mean, ‘I mean’??”
I don’t know why, but that little exchange and Dean’s emphatic head bob is just really funny to me. What Sam means, is that they’re losing time. He seems to be arguing for letting Jack talk to Nick. He says that Nick is locked down in the Bunker.
Yeah. So was Jacob Stein.
Sam questions how Nick is even a threat. Mary’s ringing voice of reason says that Nick is always a threat. Sam takes the statement like a kick in the chest. They all should. But Jack ends the debate by saying that Donatello helped him, and now the prophet needs his help.
Jack comes out of the dungeon and says that Nick will take them to Donatello. They arrive the next morning at an industrial site. Nick says Dean will find Donatello in a warehouse nearby. Back at the Bunker, Mary is boxing up the personal effects they took off Nick and items collected at the house. Jack takes the syringe that Nick used to inject the poison. He says it was filled with angelic grace. Can’t she feel it?
Now why would Nick juice Donatello with grace?
Mary immediately calls Sam. He takes the call outside when Nick begins loudly singing (just like Lucifer used to). It’s a diversion so that Nick can slip the tiny lock pick OUT FROM UNDERNEATH HIS SKIN where he had it hidden. He uses the wee bit of metal to unlock his cuffs while he explains to Sam that prophets are like old CB radios.
If you know how to boost their signal and adjust the frequency, you can use them to communicate with Lucifer in the Empty.
And Lucifer can tell you how to bring him back.
“C’mon, Sam. Nobody stays dead anymore, you know that.”
Nick says the demons want Lucifer back almost as much as he does. They gave him the angel grace. Sam shouts a warning from outside just as two demons attack Dean and Nick drops his cuffs. Fight fight struggle fight. Dean rather handily deals with the two demons while Sam gets his hands around Nick’s throat and tries to squeeze the life out of him.
But Sam remembers that he is a good man and lets up. Nick picks up a large rock and caves Sam’s giant skull in with it. By the time Dean gets back to the car, Nick is gone and Sam is dying of a subdural hematoma.
Dean calls Mary. He sounds scared. He says it’s bad. Bad enough that he’s afraid to move Sam—which is funny given that Sam and Cas had no qualms about driving head trauma Dean 10 hours back to the Bunker in “Ouroboros.”
Nick carjacks a truck and drives to an abandoned cabin. He lays down a casting circle in salt, puts his button down in a cast iron pot, and sets it on fire. In the Bunker, Jack doubles over in pain. He says it feels like his blood is burning.
Because it is.
Nick didn’t want to talk to Jack. That was just a ruse to draw the boy in close enough to headbutt him in the face and get some of Jack’s blood on the shirt. Jack says he can feel Nick. He can get to Nick, but he’ll have to use his powers. Mary doesn’t hesitate. She says, “Do it.”
Nick recites the incantation over the fire. A rip opens in the air. The Empty’s black goo boils around the edges of the portal. Lucifer emerges and extends his wings. Kudos to the F/X team, because that’s pretty cool.
Even if Lucifer does look like the Terminator.
Nick gladly offers himself up to Lucifer. Make him strong again. “Make me you.” Lucifer reaches out his hand to embrace his vessel … and then Jack walks into the room, eyes blazing. With a sweep of his arm he sends Lucifer back into the Empty and seals the rift.
Nick howls in protest. Jack is like, oh I’ll give you something to cry about, and snaps the bones in Nick’s hand in 17 different directions.
And then Jack clenches both of his fists and burns Nick alive from the inside.
Frankly, if you ask me, Jack just did us all a solid.
Mary looks down at Nick’s charred and still smoking body. She takes two steps away from Jack. Jack has a confused. He whispers that he had to. Mary shakes off her shock and says Sam is hurt. She tells Jack to help him.
Dean is crouched next to Sam, holding a cloth to his head to control the bleeding. He tells his brother they’re going to play a game. Sam is going to count with him and stay awake and stay with him. I think to myself that patients in surgery are told to count backwards while the anesthesia takes effect and maybe that’s not the best game, but what do I know.
Sam can feel himself slipping away. He tells Dean that he always put Sam first. His whole life …
Jack appears and rushes to Sam’s side. He glowy heals his wound and Sam snaps back to consciousness. Dean helps him sit up and then quickly turns away before his emotions overcome him.
Jensen, man. Killing it.
Sam asks where Nick is and then Mary, because he’s a good man. Jack says he stopped Nick and Mary is fine. Everything’s going to be fine.
Mary walks out of the cabin into the cold morning air to clear her head. Jack returns pleased as punch to report that he healed Sam. He tells her that everything is going to be okay. Mary smiles and nods but she just can’t quite sell it. Jack tries to make her understand. He says that Nick was a bad person. A killer. He had to be stopped.
“Not like that.”
Now, to be fair, frying Nick from the inside may be a little extreme. But Mary didn’t seem to have a problem with Dean beating Nick to death. And Dean calling Sam off at the Bunker by telling him, “Not now. Not yet.” What did she think “yet” was going to entail?
Jack flatly tells Mary that Nick deserved it.
Mary tells Jack to take her home. Her voice drips with disappointment. Jack says he will … and my chest begins to get very tight. He will … just tell him it’s okay.
Now, on the one hand I respect that Mary was honest with Jack and I’m glad she didn’t lie to him. It also reminded me of the scene between Buffy and Giles at the end of “Lie to Me.”
But I was also thinking, DAMMIT WOMAN!
You’re out in the middle of nowhere alone with a fragile and unstable being of enormous power. Somewhere in your lizard brain a klaxon has to be sounding. Listen to it! Maybe humor Jack enough to get safely home and regroup with the others.
But Mary doesn’t do that. She thinks she’s still talking to the Jack she knows. The one who would never have done that to Nick. Mary blurts out that something is wrong.
Jack is like I’M NOT WRONG, YOU’RE WRONG. I half expected him to call her a poopy-head, which just reinforces that, you know, he’s TWO. Ish.
Mary gives him a version of, wait until your three fathers get home, and Jack swings back to being a scared boy. He asks Mary if she’s going to tell them what he did. His voice is very small. Mary simply says he needs help. They will help him. They’re his family.
Rather than calming Jack, it only agitates him. He turns away from Mary and tells her to leave him alone. He holds his hands over his ears and stumbles off towards the tree line like there’s a noise in his head he can’t get away from. Mary follows him, badgering him to tell her what’s happening, what’s going on, and seriously, woman. Back up off the kid and give him a little space to have his existential meltdown.
When Jack finally blows, Mary has placed herself directly in the blast zone.
The screen goes black. Jack’s voice whispers, “Mary?”