October 29, 2020
“This is how we end Chuck.”
Amara is living her best luxury volcanic hot spring and glass of red wine with a side of Haruki Murakami life in Iceland. She gazes up at the billions of stars that spread across the inky dark sky. A shooting-star streaks overhead, followed closely by another … and another … until the heavens are filled with a shimmering cosmic light show.
Sam is on the phone with Castiel. The lead he was running down in the archives of the Basilica of Guadalupe didn’t pan out. The rumor of a spell so powerful it could wound God himself turned out to be just a rumor. Sam reassures the angel that they’ll find another way.
Dean walks into the library and Sam aggressively focuses his attention on his laptop. Yes, it’s the silent treatment, but he’s not sure what Dean wants him to say. He’s not on board with Jack dying and Dean blithely insisting it’s the only way isn’t going to convince him. The argument is interrupted but a noise from the kitchen. It’s Amara, rooting around in the fridge for a beer.
They need to talk.
And I’m not sure what fabric this is—another velvet maybe—but I am loving the colors and textures that Show is putting on Amara this season. Kudos wardrobe department!
And the shoes! Her shoes!
In summary, Amara is giving me life.
She breaks the news that Chuck has returned to Earth. He hasn’t contacted her, but Amara says he has made himself known. Jack looks stricken. Amara asks for the bona fides on their plan. How do they intend to cage Chuck? When God caged her, he had four archangels. Do they have four archangels?
“Nope. We’ve got one Jack.”
Amara does not seem entirely comforted that everything is resting on this smol bean who looks like he needs to be wrapped in a blanket and fed soup. She wishes they had gotten to know each other. Amara says that’s her fault, but maybe when all of this is over … Jack blanches for a microsecond and then brightens and nods.
That is some A+ level Winchester lying right there.
Dean walks Amara out and tells her she’s saving their asses. The whole world’s collective aspirations. Amara corrects him—she hasn’t saved anything yet. But when the times comes, they can count on her. She reminds Dean of what she told him when they first met …
“You and I will always help each other.”
Jack and Sam have a moment in the library. They’re both trying to put words to what Sam is feeling right now. He’s not angry and he’s not disappointed. Sam just wishes Jack had been upfront with them from the start. But Jack sacrificing his life for a cause takes a lot of courage … even if Sam still thinks it’s wrong.
Dean shoos Jack off to gather his things for Santa Fe and the final ritual … and so he and Sam can shout at each other again some more. Sam tells Dean he’s not going. He’s going to stay behind and keep looking for another way to save the world. Dean insists that Billie’s plan is the only way—it’s in the book.
You mean like how Dean sacrificing himself in the Ma’lak Box to contain Michael was in the book?
Sam calls shenanigans on blindly following orders and betraying allies. He says someone has to keep fighting for Jack. Last he checked, they don’t give up on family.
“Jack’s not family.”
YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH, DEAN WINCHESTER. YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH.
Sam physically recoils at the words. Dean is like … that … that wasn’t supposed to come out that way. Dean says he cares for Jack, but he’s not like Sam. He’s not like Cas. He’s just not.
Jack is standing in the doorway behind them.
He says he’s ready.
Then, says Dean, let’s hit the road … for a painful and awkward 11-hour drive—including 6 hours across a state whose landscape (I’m told on good authority) fills one with such existential dread as to leave scars that linger for years afterwards.
Don’t forget to pack snacks!
Driving through the
lush rainforest of the American plains night. And as a side note, I would snark about the decidedly NOT ROCK MUSIC that is playing over this scene, but this is exactly the sort of moody jangly guitar music I listen to when I’m driving, so I’ll allow it.
Dean attempts damage control. He doesn’t know what Jack heard back at the Bunker … you mean the part about Jack not being family? OH JACK HEARD THAT LOUD AND CLEAR. But he tells Dean he doesn’t have to say anything. He doesn’t need to be sorry. Jack says that he’s not like Sam. Or Cas. His tone and expression are even. There is no judgement or rebuke, simply a statement of fact. Jack says he understands.
Jack giving Dean a pass on being a shitty dad is the most Jack thing I’ve ever seen.
Jack’s acceptance of his burden and his fate seem to weigh on Dean AS THEY SHOULD. You just sit there and STEW, mister.
They arrive the next day in Santa Fe and pull up to Jim’s Gems. They both seem apprehensive. “Billie said, this is where it ends.” They’re greeted at the door by Lt. Felix Gaeta from Battlestar Galactica. He is delighted to the point of fanboying at the sight of Jack.
Jack finds it off-putting.
Gaeta introduces himself as Adam—God’s primo, first dude off the assembly line. Dean takes that to mean that the woman who is currently all up in Jack’s dance space is Eve.
THIS SEASON SIX ERASURE WILL NOT STAND.
She is not Eve. OBVIOUSLY. Her name is Serafina. Jack stage whispers that SHE’S AN ANGEL. An angel who is tasting the rainbow of Jack’s aura, much to Dean’s discomfort. Gaeta and Serafina start macking on each other and Dean is like … what is happening?
Gaeta announces it’s time to get the party started. Jack is with him—just a little private pop quiz that the boy needs to pass before he can receive the Spark of the Divine. Dean is deeply nonplussed, but Jack is serene. He’s ready.
And he has questions for Gaeta. Was he really the first human? Gaeta says he was—God’s first story. And then Chuck moved on to his sons …
And y’all, I feel like this is an unpopular opinion, but the Mark of Cain may be my favorite storyline of the whole series.
Serafina tells Dean to relax. Jack is going to pass. She saw it in her dreams. She and Gaeta were sipping mushroom tea in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
“So you were tripping balls and you saw Jack?”
Yes. Yes, she was. And yes she did. Serafina tells Dean to think of everything that had to happen for Jack to get to this place in this moment. It was meant to be …
Dean finds none of this comforting.
This is the point at which wheels should start turning in his head.
In the back room, Jack realizes that Gaeta isn’t just bitter—he hates God. 300,000 years on the hamster wheel will do that to a person. And it took him that long to figure out how to do it. Killing Chuck isn’t Billie’s plan—it’s Gaeta’s. Billie has been helping but he says it’s his and Sera’s baby. The angel has kept Gaeta alive long enough to see it through.
All they’ve been waiting on is Jack.
Gaeta leads Jack to a large shadowbox filled with geodes. It’s the Last Crusade test—Jack has to choose the one that has been touched by God by himself.
Jack contemplates all the pretty shinys. He points a finger at the white and purple stone. Gaeta looks from the box to Jack in alarm. THAT ONE? THAT SHINY? ARE YOU SURE? Yes, Jack is sure. The purple one … and the others. All of the pretty shinys.
“They’re just rocks, but their existence makes them divine, because God is in everything.”
Gaeta lets out the breath he was holding and looks like he’s on the verge of weeping.
Jack walks back to the front of the store and is rewarded with a high-five from Serafina. Then she picks up a great big honking knife and stabs Gaeta in the gut. Dean is like WHAT IS HAPPENING, AGAIN SOME MORE??!? Gaeta looks at Dean over his shoulder and tells him to chill.
Gaeta groans in agony as Serafina roots around in his soft and squishy bits. With a loud SNAP she pulls out a piece of his rib and drops it on the counter. Dean and Jack gawk in stunned silence while Serafina heals Gaeta’s wound.
Gaeta explains that everything can contain the Spark of the Divine, but this piece of him is packing enough punch to create life itself.
Or in Jack’s case, destroy God.
Making his vessel strong (by eating grigori hearts) and reclaiming his human soul in the Garden of Eden was all to prepare Jack for this. Gaeta says the rib will start an elemental chain reaction, fusing Jack’s angelic grace and human soul into a metaphysical supernova that will collapse into a living black hole for divine energy. One nothing can escape.
Not the Darkness.
Not God himself.
Okay, that’s cool and all, but if the Spark of the Divine is in everything, what else is the Jackhole going to suck into it?
This is the point at which Dean really should be questioning the soundness of this plan.
Serafina drops the bloody rib bit into a Ziploc. Gaeta warns that once the chain reaction starts, it can’t be stopped. Jack accepts the bag of bloody bone. He understands.
Castiel arrives back at the Bunker. He is not at all surprised to see that Sam is still there. Still looking for another way. He does seem strangely resigned to Dean being all in on Jack blowing himself up.
As hopelessness sets in, they both begin to wonder if Dean is right. He’s so convinced … Sam says he wishes he could just talk to Billie. One final gut check just to make sure. Cas is vehemently against what he thinks Sam is suggesting—ending his life to summon Death. Sam assures Cas that wasn’t what he meant … and then something thunks in his brain.
He’s like, hey, remember the last time Sergei tried to screw them? He said he was looking for the Key to Death. So if it’s in the Bunker and they can find it … then Sam can just howdily doodily walk up to her. Right?
So, we can’t get justice for Becky, but we can get a plot payoff with Sergei?
Rummaging in the storage room. Rummaging in the storage room. Rummaging in the storage room. Cas takes a small black box from inside a leather-bound chest. A red skull leers at him from the lid. Inside the box is a key.
Sam puts down the Holy Grail and takes the key from Cas. He’s certain this is it. He reads aloud the Latin inscription written on the box.
Mortal traveller, beware, know that the keys of death weigh heavily. However, if you desire to enter in the dark bottomless depths, you need a gateway.
The key flares and a glowing line traces out a doorway on the wall of the storage room. Sam asks Cas to stay behind and buy him time if Dean gets back to the Bunker first.
Sam puts the key in the lock. The door opens into the W section of Death’s library. Sam steps through and startles at the sight of the Reaper on the floor. There are two more Reapers sprawled further down the row. Sam follows the sounds of terrified cries and screams. He peers around the end of the shelf to see a Reaper on his knees begging for mercy—not from Death, but from the Empty.
The Empty wants a word with Death and she’s going to burn through as many Reapers as it takes to get Death to pick up. Sam attempts to exit stage right, but the Empty snaps him into her presence mid-tiptoe.
She corrects Sam’s confusion—sorry, Meg is still dead (RIP)—she’s just borrowing the queen’s pretty face because really, she’s empty.
See what she did there?
The Empty is vexed. VEXED! She was given to understand that not even God held sway in her realm—but that was a lie. A sweet little lie. Billie said once she took over she would make it all better, but then busted ass Cas and his trench coat came along and now the Empty has doubts.
Sam is like, can we rewind to the part where Billie wants to take over? The Empty calls it classic narcissism. Billie wants to become the new God and put everyone back where they belong—realities, dimensions, graves. What should be dead, dies. Angels off Earth. Demons back to Hell. And the Empty goes back to sleep. Sweet, sweet blessed sleep.
Or she’s supposed to … except trust issues.
The Empty taps on the thick leather-bound book sitting on the desk in front of her. Chuck’s death book. Sam is in Chuck’s death book. The Empty says Billie always talked about how Sam should be so dead … except she needs him.
So maybe torturing Sam will summon Billie.
Sam groans and slowly sinks to his knees while the Empty shouts at Billie to get her scythe down there! With his last breath before his lungs totally collapse, Sam chokes out that Billie sent him.
The Empty stays her hand. Really?
Sam bluffs like he’s never bluffed before. He tells the Empty that Billie is on Earth and sent him to get the book and deliver a message. Death will honor her promise. God and Amara will die and she can go back to sleep.
The Empty is not convinced. Sam says she has two choices—give him the book and maybe they all win. Or kill him, and they lose … and she will never go back to sleep.
Amara and her steel blue suit that looks like it is made out of a fabric that is softer than kittens are enjoying a little forest bathing. She soaks in the solitude until Chuck pops in. He’s been saving the best for last. And then? Chuck says it’s a question he’s been asking himself a lot lately.
“What happens after The End?”
OH, THAT’S SOMETHING WE’D ALL LIKE TO KNOW. 13 YEARS I’VE DEVOTED TO THIS SHOW. WHAT HAPPENS INDEED, CHUCK?
Chuck says he has an idea … but he needs Amara’s help. He reminds her of the rules. He can create and he can destroy, but he can’t do a hard reset or reboot—a second Big Bang—without her. Amara rejects the idea out of hand. Absolutely not. Not happening.
Chuck realizes that the Winchesters have gotten to her. He says it figures. She and Dean had that whole weird thing. Amara is surprised. Chuck didn’t write that? Chuck wrinkles his face in disgust. YUCH. Not that part.
Amara says she’s not on Dean’s side and she’s not on Chuck’s. Someone needs to defend the Earth and Amara has appointed herself. She says she cares about this world—and so should Chuck.
Chuck trudges along next to Amara refusing to appreciate the wonder of what he’s created. All Chuck can see are his failures. He says zeroing out and starting fresh is what he needs. Amara insists that none of this is a failure—not a tree, not a human—but Chuck calls humans his greatest failure of all. They’re the worst! Lame. Disappointing. Boring. The ruiners of everything they touch. Chuck says he’s over them.
So humans don’t light Chuck’s wick anymore. How does his wick feel about fans? Amara snaps them to Heaven’s throne room. She picks up and rings a silver bell. Six of Heaven’s remaining twelve angels crowd through the door.
Bask! Bask in their love, Chuck!
Chuck gives their perfect, angelic devotion one big long—impressively long—raspberry before snapping the host someplace … away.
Chuck has made up his mind. He reminds Amara that, in the end, he always gets what he wants. Amara would rather talk about what she wants. Something they’ve never tried before—balance. Creation and destruction, light and dark, brother and sister, united on behalf of one world, Earth Prime.
True balance. The way it was always meant to be.
Chuck shrugs. Meh. Don’t wanna
Because he only cares about his story.
And you know, due credit to Rob Benedict in this scene. I had a visceral reaction to Chuck’s shrugs and eye rolls. Rob is a delightful person in real life; Chuck makes me want to do violence.
Well played, sir.
Amara sighs and says this must make Chuck the villain. Chuck is more than happy to play that role.
“Villains get all the best lines.”
Dean pulls the car over and kills the engine. They’re almost home, but there’s something he needs to say before they get to the Bunker. Dean acknowledges the weight that Jack is carrying—for Team Free Will. For the world. And that his outburst to Sam didn’t do anything to ease the burden. It seems intensely important now to Dean that Jack understands why he said it.
Dean shifts in his seat so that he’s facing Jack. He says that finding out about Chuck … it was like he wasn’t alive. Like his whole life, he’s never been free. And now he and Sam have a shot at living a life without all this crap on their backs.
And that’s because of Jack.
So Dean wants to say—he needs to say—thank you.
Jack considers all this. His response is simple and sincere. You’re welcome. You’re absolved.
The moment thusly concluded, Dean moves to start the car. His phone buzzes with a text. The message is telegraphed by the look on this face. Jack says it’s time, isn’t it?
He shakes the bone out of the bag and into his hand. Jack’s eyes flare with golden energy as he absorbs the bone and the spark it contains. He does not absorb all the bloody bits of tissue that were on the bone. That just kind of liquifies and slides off his hand.
Did Jack just get bone goo all over Baby?
Sam comes back into the storage room, death book in hand. Castiel breathlessly tells him that Amara is there in the Bunker with Chuck. It’s time. Sam is like, yeah we need to slow that roll.
Amara tries again some more to give Chuck an opportunity to stand down. She says it’s not too late. She calls him brother. He can still choose this world. He can choose them. Chuck snaps at her to shut up. Amara rolls her eyes and turns away in defeat. She tried.
A tiny ghost of a smile tugs at the corner of Chuck’s mouth.
Castiel is trying to process the whole Chuck and Amara cannot die thing when Dean charges into the library, half supporting, half dragging Jack along with him. He barks that they need to get the kid into the room right now.
Chuck asks Amara if she hears that.
Brought to the edge of doubt. His sense of duty. His rage winning out in the end.
“This is my ending. My real ending.”
He’s been writing this story all along.
Dean hauls Jack down the hall with Sam and Cas trailing closely behind. He’s not particularly bothered that Billie’s true plan is to seize power for herself so long as Chuck dies.
Sam pushes past Jack to get in front of Dean, desperate to make him listen.
Chuck continues narrating the story for Amara. Poor Sam … always gotta know everything. Can’t leave well enough alone.
Dean shouts that they don’t have time! The fuse is lit. He’s not going to ask Sam again. When Sam still won’t give way, Dean reaches into his waistband, pulls out his gun, and points it at his brother. He tells Sam to move.
WHAT IS HAPPENING? THIS DISCUSSION DOES NOT REQUIRE A WEAPONS DISCHARGE!
Castiel takes a step back and shouts at Dean. Sam’s eyes flick from the gun to Dean and back again. His face is slack with shock.
Amara is also stunned. Chuck orchestrated this?
“What part of omniscient do you people not understand?”
Dean cocks the hammer and tells Sam one last time to get out of his way. Sam grabs Dean’s wrist and Dean swings with his left, sending Sam to the floor.
So Chuck can’t read his death book—so what? He controls space and time. You plant a few visions … goad Death a little … mess with a few outcomes and badda-bing! Chuck laughs at the absurdity of it. Team Free Will thinks they can kill him?
Amara speaks to Chuck as one would to a slow child. They’re not going to kill him, they’re going to cage him. No, Chuck corrects her, they want to kill him …
And, they want to kill her.
Chuck says there is no cage. There never was. Sam and Dean are using Jack to destroy them. Amara rejects what Chuck is telling her. Dean can’t hurt her!
“No, but he can lie to you.”
He can send Amara into the meat grinder with a wink and a smile.
Amara turns away from Chuck so he can’t see how wounded she is. How devastated by the betrayal. So he can’t see her tears. Chuck gently says he gets it. She wanted Dean to care about her. But humans …
“They break your heart every time.”
Chuck says he spent so long searching for happiness and contentment. In creation. With the Winchesters. But the only ones who ever really get them … is them.
“You and me. Back together?”
Think of it. The two of them in balance. Starting fresh. Creating something new. Something beautiful. Peaceful. Together. They can finally forget about all this pain.
Amara wants to believe him. It sounds like everything she’s ever wanted. Chuck holds out his hand to her and Amara takes it … AND GETS HER FOOL SELF ABSORBED INTO HER BROTHER.
There is no balance, there is only Chuck.
Sam flings himself at Dean and gets put back down again for his trouble. Sprawled out on the floor he shouts that if Billie takes over then everyone goes back to where they belong!
Dean goes still.
Sam picks himself up. He says AU!Bobby and Charlie will be sent back to a world that no longer exists. Everyone they’ve saved … Eileen will die—again. And that’s just the beginning.
Dean looks down at Castiel, huddled on the floor next to Jack. There it is. Where does Cas belong in Billie’s grand scheme of things?
But not even that is enough to sway Dean. He insists there’s nothing else they can do. They just have to get out of the way. He doesn’t care if Billie gets what she wants! He rants that he would trade them all—Bobby, Charlie, Eileen, all of them—for Chuck. In a heartbeat!
“What about me? Would you trade me?”
Dean doesn’t have an answer to that question. His mind on fixed on a single objective—Chuck has to die. He has to! Otherwise, Chuck will keep them tap-dancing forever and Dean can’t live like that. He can’t. He won’t!!
Dean isn’t just having a breakdown, he is experiencing a break. I wish Show had done more this season to show how Dean got here because this is so out of character. Dean is the guy who cares because someone has to. His peace is helping people. But I guess that’s the point–that’s just how far Chuck has pushed him.
Sam handles Dean like he’s the one who is literally about to explode into an existential supernova. His manner is calm and reassuring. His voice is low and even. He acknowledges what Dean is feeling but pleads with his brother to trust him.
My entire life, you’ve protected me. From Dad. From Lucifer. From everything. I didn’t always like it, you know? But it’s the one thing in the whole world that I could always count on. It’s the only thing I’ve ever known that was true. So please, put the gun away. Just put it away.
We’ll figure it out, Dean. We’ll find another way, you and me.
We always do.
I love this moment SO MUCH. Out of the park, Padalecki! I love how it calls back to the speech Sam gives Dean in Season 8’s “Trial and Error.” Another moment when Dean was so far down he couldn’t see the light … but Sam could. And if Dean would come with him, Sam would take him to it.
Dean looks down at his hand like he’s forgotten he was holding the gun. A single man tear glistens on his lashes. Dean releases the hammer and Sam lets out the breath he’s been holding.
At the end of the hall, the door to the room explodes with the wroth of a very cross Almighty.
After everything. All that. THEY DID IT AGAIN.
Dean was supposed to kill Sam, watch Jack die, break Castiel’s heart and make everything the angel had ever done for him meaningless and then—in the final moments before oblivion overtook him and the world finally ended—go to his death knowing that he was never in control and was on the hamster wheel to the bitter end.
Now, you know how much I loves me some Dean angst, but DAMN. That is some dark shit, Chuck!
Castiel notices Amara’s absence. Chuck hand waves that they came to an understanding.
“What, you consumed your sister?”
Chuck will thank the angel to spare him the contempt. The self-hating angel of Thursday. Does Cas know what every other version of himself did after gripping him tight and raising him from Perdition?
They did what they were told.
But not the one off the line with a crack in his chassis.
Chuck turns his ire on the rest of Team Free Will. He spits that he tried and he tried and he tried! But they’re all just too stupid. Too stubborn. Too broken.
And Chuck is over it. He’s over them. They can kill each other. Or not kill each other. He doesn’t care. But they can have fun watching Jack die.
Chuck peace outs. Jack collapses to the floor with a groan. His fathers crowd around him as his eyes flash golden and the divine spark begins to consume him from the inside.
Supernatural airs Thursday at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) on The CW. Follow Whitney on Twitter @Watcher_Whitney.