After two episodes that felt mostly like filler, it was great to get back into the ongoing storyline and revisit some characters we haven’t seen in a while. This episode marked the return of Castiel, who’s been gone for several episodes, as well as long dead fan favorite Bobby. The latter was tear inducing, reminding us just how much the Winchesters lost when their father figure met his permanent death several seasons ago. We also got some forward momentum on Crowley’s story, which has felt like it’s been in a holding pattern for the majority of the season. Overall it was a great episode to get things going forward again.
For fans of the dynamic between Sam and Castiel, this season has been an absolute gift. While I’m a bigger fan of the chemistry between Castiel and Dean, I always felt that the potential friendship between Sam and Cas had never truly been given the attention it deserved. This season is making up for that greatly. Much of the episode centered around Sam and Cas teaming up to save Dean, both feeling that he’s given up on the battle to save himself. The scene where their partnership truly shined was when they were taking down Metatron, which showed that the two of them can be a great hunting duo without Dean present. Of course, I’d prefer all of Team Free Will to be together as much as possible, but it’s nice seeing things like this, too.
Their method of bringing Metatron to Earth is how Bobby entered the picture, which I thought was done beautifully. Death on this show has become almost meaningless since characters are brought back to life so often, but this managed to avoid cheapening his emotional farewell while still giving fans their beloved character back, albeit only briefly. His return also brought back the phrase ‘balls,’ which is practically obligatory with him. Funny how such a silly phrase can make me shed a happy tear. I’m also still not over the line ‘the Bobby’s are surly,’ when he releases all the Bobby Singers of Heaven onto the poor angels keeping guard. It’s a brand of humor I’ve missed a lot.
Meanwhile, things finally came to a head for Crowley, who took to heart Dean’s words about family not ending with blood, but not starting there either. Of course those words originated with Bobby, and though Dean was unaware that his deceased father figure was actively involved in saving him from turning into a demon, it’s clear the thought of him and what he taught is never far from Dean’s mind. Crowley took this bit of advice and finally kicked Rowena out of Hell. As weird as it seems, Dean is probably more of Crowley’s family than Rowena is. Yeah, I know, he’s the King of Hell and evil blah blah. But still, his relationship with the Winchesters is clearly important.
I’m conflicted about Rowena, because I absolutely adore the actress, but have felt the character tempered Crowley’s usually interesting storyline far too much. I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of her, but when she returns I hope it’s in a more interesting context. Now that she knows she doesn’t have Crowley wrapped around her finger, she’ll probably be a lot more ruthless about obtaining her goals.
This episode was one of the most enjoyable ones of the season. It had so many wonderful character moments; it reminded me why I stick with this show, even when parts of it can frustrate me. I’m here for the characters. I’m here for their relationships with each other, the exploration of the concept of self-created family, and for the emotional roller coaster that these elements take me on year after year. Thanks for the reminder about why I stick around. I’m looking forward to having my emotions shaken up some more in the coming weeks.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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