Let's Laugh, Cry, and Cuss about Supernatural Together
Episode Name: Lost and Found
Air Date: 10/12/2017
*SPOILERS* DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT *SPOILERS* SERIOUSLY I MEAN IT *SPOILERS*
Hi my name is Rebekah and I’m a Supernatural addict. If you are reading this, you have probably watched 12 years’ worth of Supernatural, so we’re in the same boat. Welcome, fellow sucker for punishment! Feel free to let it all hang out.
Last night I eagerly watched the Season 13 premiere of Supernatural. I don’t start every season of Supernatural eagerly. But I enjoyed the hell out of the Season 12 finale and the set up for Season 13 was right down my alley. Creepy as hell, a parallel dimension, and the promise of seeing some old favorites. Also, the acting in the show has reached Oscar caliber. No exaggeration. Jared and Jensen inhabit these characters and make you feel like they are old friends. The delivery of their lines feels real, raw, and impactful. That’s a tall order considering it is a fantasy show and you can get burn out from the constant trauma. But the writers can put in the most absurd plot line and those boys sell the shit out of it. These guys know what they’re doing. They’re just doing it on a cult favorite CW show so they probably don’t get the recognition they deserve.
So just for set up purposes, Season 12 finale ended with the boys losing everything and everyone they love. Again. It wasn’t as traumatizing as it could have been because as y’all know, the boys lose everything all the time. And characters have the tendency to come back. Also, there were some character deaths I was ready for. (Sorry. I love Mark Sheppard but the writers didn’t know what to do with Crowley anymore, it was painful.) Additionally, the few scenes in the parallel dimension were a joy. We got to see Bobby, which, it’s always a good day when you get to see Bobby. And he mentioned Rufus. Almost nothing makes me happier than Bobby and Rufus. (Safe House, written by superbae Robbie Thompson is one of my favorite episodes they’ve ever done.) So Season 13 was set up to be very cool, which after 12 years is impressive.
Season 13 Episode one opened up exactly where we left off, with Sam standing in the cabin gaping at the ENTIRE GROWN ASS ADULT Nephilim that was born FIVE MINUTES AGO crouching in the corner naked as a jaybird (are jaybirds more naked than other birds?) with glowing eyes being CREEPY AS FUCK. Like, genuine chills down your spine creepy. Sam tends to use his words so he tried to communicate with the Nephilim. Dean walks in and instantly whips out his gun to shoot the guy. Dean had just left Castiel’s dead body so he was not in the mood. Sam knocks his arm out of the way. Which was probably for the best, because Dean, what’s a regular ass bullet going to do to a Nephilim? Well, that pisses ol’ dude off and he yells and the blast of his power picks up both of the boys off the ground and throws them into the wall. So, he is hella powerful. Then he gets away.
The boys give chase. For stunningly gorgeous Greek god looking model types, they look like shit. Bruised, dirty, depleted, bags under their eyes. Dean was reacting to the crushing loss of Cas by being enraged (appropriate reaction) and that was manifesting partly by him uberpissy and barking at Sam. Even his most pissy retorts crackled with grief. Sam obviously knew he was grieving and didn’t give him any pushback. There is this unspoken understanding that Cas’s death is more Dean’s loss than Sam’s loss. Part of that is because most of the writers are Deanboys, and partly because Dean and Cas have a more profound bond. They’re boyfriends. Or they would be if the Supernatural powers that be had the sense God gave a fruit fly. But I digress.
The Nephilim ends up in a police station. He’s confused and bewildered. He’s trying to figure out who he is, and what feelings are. He tries nougat for the first time. It’s intense. He’s in turn adorable, off-putting, and terrifying. The actor is fantastic. It’s hard to make these kinds of characters work. It’s easy to lean a little too hard on the crazy or on the bewilderment. But he was perfection. I truly hope they keep him around. He infuses the old SPN dynamic with new life.
Any who, the most significant thing is that when he hears voices in his head (angel radio), it hurts, and he reacts by throwing folks around. But he doesn’t know how it happens. He doesn’t have control over his powers just yet. Which makes sense, because he’s like three seconds old. The boys catch up to him. Sam spends some time with the Nephilim (the audience knows his name is Jack at this point) and realizes that he is an innocent. Also, Jack reveals that Castiel is his father, which was a brilliant little twist that hurts sooooo badly because you know that beautiful Castiel is dead. Poor kid, Dad killed while he was making his way into the world. But wait, wasn’t Lucifer the father? Apparently, Jack’s mom found the concept of fatherhood pretty flexible. She said since Castiel would be the one to protect him, that he would be his father. And since Jack was conscious in the womb, he was always hearing Cas take care of him, so he cosigned that (extremely solid) choice.
Then the dicks show up. Ok that sounds weird. But any SPN fan knows what I’m talking about. According to Dean, angels are dicks. And the group that shows up lives up to that less than stellar reputation. They are there to kidnap Jack and to use him for nefarious power-hungry purposes. There are some really cool, creative fight scenes. Only in Supernatural do you laugh during a fight scene. They are often sly and inventive. Ultimately, Sam and Dean prevail. The angels are either sent to heaven or ganked. But before the last one is stabbed, she stabs Jack right in the heart. It doesn’t take. He pulls it right out. Yes Jack is innocent, but also menacing and scary, mostly because we don’t know what his powers are yet. He doesn’t know what his powers are either. But we do know that he can be stabbed in the heart and not even ask for a band aid. He’s like. Hm. (kanyeshrug)
The boys head back to the bunker and take Jack with them. Which I thought made sense. Jack is a loose cannon and you don’t really want him bouncing around out there. Sam mostly wants to look after him. Dean mostly wants to kill him. They only thing stopping Dean is that he has no idea how to do it. Dean still doesn’t see these decisions on whether to kill folks as a democratic decision between him and Sammy. If he wants to gank somebody it doesn’t really matter what Sam wants. And of course, you can see both of their viewpoints. Dean is sick as shit of these supernatural creatures killing his boyfriend and his family. But to be fair to Sam’s point of view, rational thought generally makes for better strategies. Also, there is no real reason to believe that Jack will be evil. Lucifer is not a demon. He’s an angel. His villainy was purely a conscious choice, not his genetics. Also, Dean saying his job is to kill the supernatural is a bit disingenuous. Because in reality, the boys have a long storied history of partnering with supernatural creatures (You know, like Castiel? Or Crowley? Or Dean’s ex Benny? I could really go on). But Dean is completely over it. Which. You can’t blame him there considering what they just went through. So that’s where we are.
Then we get the thoroughly heart wrenching scene where Dean prays to God to bring Cas back. Here is what he says:
Okay, Chuck… or God, or whatever. I need your help. See, you– you left us. You left us. You went off. You said… You said the earth would be fine because it had me… and Sam, but it’s not, and we’re not. We’ve lost everything... and now you’re gonna bring him back. Okay? You’re gonna bring back Cas, you’re gonna bring back Mom, you’re gonna bring ‘em all back. All of ‘em. Even Crowley. ’Cause after everything that you’ve done, you owe us, you son of a bitch. So you get your ass down here and you make this right, right here and right now.
Ugh. Now that is writing. Interesting to note that Dean explicitly refers to Cas as his everything. And if your heart can survive that, you should probably check whether you have a pulse at all. Maybe you are a vampire. Then Dean asks for his mom back, and even Crowley! He wants to turn the fucking clock back. Like. Takesies backsies the whole thing. As I mentioned, Jensen is just a masterful actor. He’s always been good at grief. (As well as comedy. As well as singing. As well as being the most beautiful boy in the world. *shakes fist at sky*) After all, he inspired the ‘single man tear’ meme and subsequent song. But Jesus Christ he just gets better and better. He barely needs to use body language or gestures anymore. It’s all in his eyes. How does he do that?? He can barely flinch yet rip your heart out by the roots. (do hearts have roots?) Then he wraps Castiel’s body for a proper burial and if you thought his prayer was devastating, watching him wrap Cas’s body is a punch to solar plexus. Jensen is JUST SO GOOD AT THIS. And Castiel’s face IS SO GORGEOUS. Just. Come ON with that face, Misha Collins, you have GOT to be kidding me.
Then during the body burning scene, Sam asks Jack if he wants to say anything. Jack of course doesn’t know which way is up yet. So he asks what Sam what is normally said in these situations. And Sam’s answer had me in tears.
You say thank you. You say you're sorry. You hope they're somewhere without sadness, or pain. You hope they're somewhere better. You say goodbye. --Sam Winchester.
The simplicity of the writing is perfect. Jared Padalecki's delivery was phenomenal. Jared Padalecki why are you trying to kill all of my feelings? I swear to Chuck, man. When the writing and the acting is on point, no one has a prayer of getting out without crying like a goddamn baby.
Then the last scene is a short one where you see that Lucifer spared Mama Winchester’s life in the separate dimension. Why? I guess we’ll find out. He says he needs her. Which he clearly doesn’t, unless he’s up to something. What is that something?
So this episode. I was all about it. Clever. Well written. Great fight scene. Genuine emotions. The guest stars had distinct personalities and you cared about them right away. The cop mom and her teenage son were everything. The head of the angel gang had some hilarious, very SPN-ish one liners. And the prospect of seeing some friendly faces in the parallel dimension has me excited. Andrew Dabb mentioned Missouri Moseley at the SDCC panel this year and I am all about it. Let’s face it, Loretta Devine is a goddamn gift and I’ve been wanting to see her again since the last time we saw her in season one. Of course Supernatural often handles female characters, particularly WOC characters, atrociously, so consider me down on my knees praying they get it right for her. Maybe they will actually HIRE some women of color writers (imagine that) and we can do this thing. (God, are you listening? Wait. I’m atheist. Whatever. You know what I mean.)
Now, as the supernerd and fangirl that I am, I always check who writes the episodes regardless whether I like them or hate them. This one was written by Andrew Dabb, which makes a lot of sense. Andrew Dabb is particularly adept at taking the stories, which are in a heightened world of fantasy and melodrama, and making them emotionally impactful in a way that you identify with. He’s like a heat seeking missile of finding the most searing and relatable human emotions and journeys the boys are experiencing, despite whatever plot is happening. He also hits that very particular soft point of Supernatural fans--people who deeply connect with the family dynamic and the experience of surviving trauma and chaos together. Also, he is great at creating compelling supporting characters. My only quibble is that he is a Dean boy, which isn’t a sin or anything. But one day I’ll find an SPN writer who centers the emotional journey on Sam and lets him drive it. Not that I don’t love Dean. Of course I do. How could anyone not love Dean? What are you a monster? (Careful, he’ll stab you in the neck.) I just feel that Sammy consistently gets the short end of the stick and functions as the support for Dean's journey. But that’s how I’ve felt for almost the entire run of the show and it’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
When all is said and done, though, here is the final thought I’ll leave you with for ‘Lost and Found’. It is Season 13 of Supernatural and I still care about the Winchester boys. That’s kind of extraordinary.
Disclaimer: This article reflects my personal opinions, not the opinions of my fellow Geeky Girls, who are also Supernatural super-fans and (who knows!) may want to banish me to purgatory for my views.
Photo credits: All photos are promotional photos from the CW
CORRECTION: My previous version identified the writer of the episode as 'Adam Glass' as opposed to 'Andrew Dabb'. I have literally no excuse except for the fact that my brain is terrible and I didn't do a terribly careful edit because I didn't think anyone would especially read my article ahaha. Andrew Dabb is the showrunner, and has written the all time classic favorite episodes like Yellow Fever, Afterschool Special, Weekend at Bobby's, and Dark Side of the Moon. Darkside of the Moon in particular is notable for a few things: 1) Being PAINFULLY accurate about siblings and about how, despite growing up shoulder to shoulder in the same home, experience things suprisingly differently 2) The way that those siblings deal with the trauma of childhood can be so different it causes the other pain and pushes them apart 3) Being so heart rending that my sister Michele can't watch it unless she is feeling very strong and 4) Giving Wincest shippers the joy of their lives when Ash says that only soulmates can share a heaven, and there Sam and Dean are, sharing a heaven. There you have it. My excessively verbose correction.
So, yes, I’m a Dean girl when it comes to choosing between the boys on the CW show, Supernatural, but that doesn’t mean that I detest Sam. I love and adore him quite a lot. He just never seems to lighten up. That is a fact about him that has been extremely apparent over the last couple of episodes.
I don’t know what direction the writers are trying to point us towards, but I personally do not like it all. I am a massive fan of this show and have invested quite a lot into these nine seasons. There have been storylines that I have loved and some that I have detested. Just like my writing classes have beat into my head, one of the most important principles about a story is growth, especially a character’s growth. Nine seasons of a show desperately need to keep this concept at the top of their game plans. Otherwise, why would anyone want to continue to watch that show?
We are currently dealing with the brothers, Dean and Sam, amidst another dispute. We have seen several over the years. With only two main characters, they cannot always be harmonious. There will always be the good and bad times and with this will come the fights. They are to be expected. Because the characters are constantly growing, how these fights are handled should be very different.
Currently we have Sam very upset with his brother for going to extreme measures regardless of right or wrong to save Sam. This has always been an absolute characteristic of Dean. His whole life has been devoted to the protection of his brother. When Dean’s mother was killed, this was what he was tasked with by his father, and it has honestly been the only true purpose Dean has ever had. If there has been one thing to count on with Dean it is he will do everything thing, regardless how blatantly stupid, to save his brother.
So Sam is mad and says he cannot trust his brother. He now doesn’t know how to be a brother to Dean because of Dean’s decision on how to save his brother. Had we had this argument before? Yep. I think fans of the show remember season seven, when Dean killed Sam’s friend Amy. Sam was angry with Dean for killing his friend and for lying to him. Instead of the full season moping we have gotten from the brothers before, the boys dealt with the issue pretty quick, which was refreshing since they are known to drag things out. Dean himself had valid reasons for doing what he did, and Sam seemed to accept it and they moved on.
Now we have a similar situation, but with different terms. Sam is upset that Dean chose to save him by tricking Sam into allowing an angel to possess him in order to heal him from the inside out. Sam had been slowly dying over the course of the eight season due to his pursuit of closing the gates of hell through trials. At the end of the season, Dean told Sam that if he completed his task, he would kill himself in the process. He asked Sam to choose to live. Sam did choose this and ended the trials, unfortunately enough damage was done to Sam’s body that he went into a coma and was dying. Last Dean knew was that Sam wanted to live. He was not privy to Sam’s internal decision to let go and be at peace. Dean did the only thing he has ever known to do since he was four years old. He found a way, a desperate way, but a way to save his brother. Everyone, including Dean himself, knew this was an extraordinarily bad idea, but Dean didn’t have another option. It did turn out to backfire, but his brother is now alive and well.
With Sam now mad, we are basically having the same argument as season seven. The only difference is that Dean agrees that what he did was wrong, he just didn’t feel he had any other choice. Sometimes people do bad things when they believe they are doing the right thing. This a theme we have seen throughout this show, and it is a burden that has been carried on many a character’s shoulder. It has been especially carried by Sam himself. No one can forget how Lucifer got out of the cage.
Yes, I believe what Dean did was wrong and a bad idea, but I also get that he believed he had to do it. I understand why Sam is upset with him, and has every right to feel mad. What I do not accept is the show making Sam look like an angsty tween and continuing to beat the audience’s head over with how upset Sam is. Did Sam just suddenly forget the last five years of his life? The show just had a beloved character come back from the dead and tell the boys to knock it off, because it was stupid. I was relieved when this happened, but infuriated when they had Sam run immediately to his room and shut himself inside to, I don’t know, be alone in the dark and get in touch with his feelings and pain. Thank God they didn’t have Dean follow him. I am sure Sam would have yelled at Dean to get out of his room, and I would have had terrible flashbacks of Dawn from seasons five and six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While Sam has always been the more sensitive brother, this is pretty ridiculous even for him.
This past week’s episode was to bring back the fan favorites, Ed and Harry. The Ghostfacers episode was supposed to be funny, because that is what all Ghostfacer episodes are. This was to be their great return. We haven’t seen them on the show since season four, but the writers felt the need to make an example out of the goofy Ghostfacers and have them mirror what was happening to Sam and Dean, so that we could once again attempt to prove that Sam was terribly wronged. That was when the episode stopped being funny. Unless the show was planning on bringing the Ghostfacers in as a permanent fixture in the world, why would you ever want to make them serious? This is not nor has been their purpose. The poor boys were misused by the writers as a sad plot device. Ed and Harry are better than that.
Now I’m just angry. Angry at a show that knows better than to write their characters this way. Upset that this show would waste several episodes on something that just doesn’t match the characterization that has been developed for Sam. I am annoyed. Sam you need to get over it. Hopefully the writers, will let you. Your brother has been through enough, and honestly couldn’t make it in this world without you. He would have no reason to and wouldn’t know how. It has already been proven. Dean could make it in Purgatory. The rules are simple, kill or be killed, Dean can memorize that easily. Sam has even made a comment when working a prison case how well his brother could fit in with the prison life. That life has strict rules as well. For the real world the only rule book Dean got was given to him by his father, John Winchester, and it only ever had two rules. Number one, keep Sammy safe, and number two, follow John’s orders. Dean continues to live by them now.
Sam needs to stop punishing his brother for his decision. Dean does that enough on his own. As far as terrible things go, it could be worse. Sam could not have someone around who cared that much. Not everyone gets that. He still has a brother, and he needs to stop telling Dean that they are not.
So to the writers I say this. I hope you have a plan for putting your audience through these last few episodes. I hope this will all be a part of something and make sense eventually. Right now, it sure as hell does not. I don’t know who you are trying to convince anymore Dean or the audience, but I am officially over it. The only bright shiny hope I can actually hold on to is the scene where Kevin tells the boys off for their woe. I hope you put that in there for a reason. Just please, please stop this.