I was conflicted about this episode before it even aired. On the one hand, it’s directed by Jensen Ackles, which has generally been an amazingly good thing. His episodes have been some of the best. On the other hand, it was written by Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming, who killed Charlie last season and wrote what is universally panned as one of the worst episodes in Supernatural history (1×13: ;Route 666′). Sure enough, the episode was mixed with some really amazing things and some really awful things, which unfortunately cancelled each other out and made this a mediocre episode at best. But hey, at least it wasn’t terrible, right? We could have had another ‘Route 666’ or another death equivalent to Charlie’s but we didn’t.
First and foremost, as most of you know, I’m a Team Free Will fan. This episode had TFW in spades and I couldn’t be happier. The moments when Sam, Dean, and Cas are all together, genuinely caring about each other, and understanding of each other are some of my favorite moments. The bunker scene at the end was like a breath of fresh air after TFW being broken up for the majority of last season and the beginning of this one. They’ve all made terrible mistakes in their lives and are willing to go out on a limb for each other and forgive each other when they misstep. It warms the cockles of my heart.
The cynic in me doesn’t think it’ll last, though. Next week Cas will probably wander off on his own adventure, Dean and Sam will start lying to each other, and we’ll get caught in a terrible plot loop like we usually do. But hey, maybe I’ll be proven wrong and this season will see TFW integrating their storylines and the brothers actually being honest with each other. The first episode of the season did have Sam make some ground breaking revelations about how far they’ve fallen, so perhaps the show will break the cycle and go somewhere new. Let’s keep positive, folks. Anything can happen. In the words of Daenerys Targaryen, let’s not just stop the wheel, but let’s break the wheel.
The episode also brought Rowena back into the mix and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I enjoy both the character and actress to an insane degree. In fact, I love Rowena more than I love Crowley, and he was my favorite antagonist pretty much since he first walked on the screen. Rowena has made my love for Crowley practically evaporate and I’d feel like a traitor, but I’m just so over the moon with her that I really don’t care. Sorry, Crowley. I supported you through the Abaddon affair, but your witchy mom has stolen my heart. Better luck next time. If there is a next time, that is. She seems pretty determined to wipe you out so I’m not banking on you living much longer. Go Rowena!
(Also sorry Mark Sheppard, I’m not wishing unemployment on you and you are in pretty much every genre show ever anyway so I’m sure you’ll find work, but Rowena’s got my vote this time. Please forgive me.)
But my enjoyment of the episode pretty much ends there. The very concept of Amara is appalling to me. At first, she bothered me because she seemed like a Femme Fatale cliché. Then she was turned into a baby and it was implied that her and Dean had somehow imprinted on each other. This reminds me too much of Renesmee from Twilight, which was also highly disturbing. The character Jacob ‘imprints’ on Renesmee when she’s a child, and it’s implied their relationship will turn romantic when she’s ‘of age.’ That just feels incredibly icky to me, and I’m kind of amazed that Supernatural went this route. Then again, the potential romantic intentions between Dean and Amara are pretty much just fandom projection at this point, so maybe we’ll all be proven wrong, the wheel will actually be broken, and we’ll get something incredibly different than what we’re all expecting. Stay positive, right? Yes, let’s stay positive.
Furthermore, since we’re discussing the down sides of the episode, ‘Fortune Nookie’ is not funny. Dean’s Asian fetish will never be funny and I don’t know why they keep perpetuating it. This alone bothered me enough to knock the entire episode down a few pegs. Let’s put this offensive fetishization behind us, guys, and let us never ever ever speak of it again. Can I get an amen on that one?
I feel so torn after that episode because it featured both things that keep me watching the show, and things that make me question why I choose to stick with this show when aspects of it bother me so much. I’m still here, though. I feel like if I can get through Charlie’s death, I can get through almost anything this show can throw at me and survive. I may get annoyed and some of the cliché characters, repetitive plot lines, and offensive humor, but the main characters have kept me hooked through all the mess and I can’t imagine not seeing them through to the end. As long as there’s hope for amazing Team Free Will moments, I can’t quit the show no matter how frustrating these side issues get. So thanks for the wonderful TFW moments this week, dear writers room. Now put down the fetish jokes and walk away and never look back. Thank you.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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