Last week’s episode of Supernatural ‘Good Intentions’ written by Meredith Glenn was so good it definitely made its way into my top favorite episodes of this season. We got a lot of great Team Free Will moments, explored the Apocalypse World more, and saw more of just how powerful everyone’s favorite Nephilim is.There were also certain aspects of this episode that felt very familiar to situations we have seen with these characters in seasons past.
The episode opens with Jack waking up in the Men of Letters bunker hearing Sam and Dean in conversation, and as he goes to track them down, the bunker seems to catch fire with the boys trapped in a burning room, and despite his best efforts Jack is unable to save them. We soon learn that this is all an elaborate vision constructed by Zachariah (portrayed in the alternate reality by Chad Rook) that is being used at Michael’s request in an attempt to break Jack. Michael wants the “half breed” to open a rift for him and an army of angels so that they can make their way into the world that the Winchesters call home.
Fortunately, Jack is too clever for Zachariah’s mind games – even seeing through them when the angel summons a vision of Castiel in to Jack’s mind. With this approach failing, we see Michael drag Jack into a cell which is also where Mary is being held.
Once in the cell together, Mary recognizes Jack although she is understandably surprised at the fully grown person sitting in front of her considering Jack is only about six months old. Jack and Mary begin to discuss how Michael has been inside their heads, and because of this Mary now knows of his plan to take the angels and try to conquer their world. She also tells Jack that the only reason they’re now together is because Michael wants to use her against Jack. In coming up with a way to escape the prison they’re in, they find a weakness in the cell’s strong warding and Jack uses his powers to break them out. The two make their way across the desolate landscape of the Apocalypse World to hear a familiar voice call out to them. Its of course none other than Bobby Singer – or this world’s version of him.
He instantly recognizes Mary but as Mary Campbell – his long dead friend. AU Bobby has already met Sam and Dean, and after brief introductions Mary tells Bobby that Jack is a friend of the family and they make their way to the camp where Bobby lives with other surviving humans. Mary worries about her and Jack’s presence in the camp with Zachariah tracking them, but Bobby tells her that his Mary saved his life more that once, so he feels he owes this version of her. We also learn that the Mary of the AU never made the demon deal, so Sam and Dean were never born. Bobby tells her that while his Mary never made a deal, he feels that she made the right choice and praises Sam and Dean.
While the two are talking, we see Jack entertaining a group of kids by making some truly amazing shadow puppets, much more complex than your typical bird and dog. This scene is what really struck me about Bobby Singer – no matter what version of him we see, no matter what world he is in – you will never pull a fast one on him. All he had to do was see that, and he instantly knew there was something supernatural about Jack. Mary confesses to Bobby that Jack is in fact half angel. Upon hearing this, Bobby tells her that the two have to be gone from the settlement by morning.
Once at the camp, we learn more of just how terrible things are in this universe between angels and humans. Bobby tells Mary of a recent extermination by the angels where over 400 humans were killed in San Antonio.
And of course with Mary and Jack stuck in the alternate reality, Sam, Dean and Castiel are in our world trying to figure out a way to bring them home. Donatello has finally managed to translate a list of ingredients for a spell needed for the rescue using the demon tablet. Castiel brings the prophet breakfast, a look of concern on his face because Donatello’s behavior is seeming to become slightly manic. Sam has some concerns of his own as his older brother sits in front of a plate piled high with bacon.
The following morning, Mary goes to break the news to Jack that they have to leave. Moments later, a siren starts wailing throughout the encampment, and we see angels hurtling towards the ground. Zachariah and his soldiers have arrived. Bobby blames Jack for drawing them to the camp while Mary tells him to go hide. The angels tear through the camp, and Zachariah catches up to Mary. He has been ordered by Michael to kill her when he found her, and it seems he is about to carry those orders out. Jack suddenly reappears and in a blast of energy, sends Zachariah hovering above the ground before disintegrating him. With more angels incoming, Jack turns toward the sky, blasting the angels before they have a chance to hit the ground.
Bobby seems more than a little stunned, and also more than a little grateful to Jack. Jack says he came back because Sam and Dean would never have run from a fight, and he knows now that he has to stay in the Apocalypse World and kill Michael.
“Dude, if bacon’s what kills me, then I win.” Same, Dean. Same.
Suddenly, Donatello comes tearing through the bunker shouting that he has completed the translation. He manages to huff that out, before doubling over, wheezing out a “running is hard.” I feel you, Donatello.
Going through the list, they realize they have much of the needed ingredients on hand save two: the hearts of Gog and Magog. Gog and Magog are two ancient beings who had been trapped in “place without a place and a time without a time.” Cas and Dean set off to go find the brothers, while Sam and Donatello stay behind in the bunker to gather the rest of the ingredients.
While Dean and Cas are about to set out, Dean stops Cas and tries to get him to open up about what is bothering him. Cas tells him that the situation with Jack, Lucifer and Michael are all weighing on him, and being the solider that he is he wonders if he was brought back from the dead to prepare for war with Michael.
The scenes that followed were really the highlight of the episode for me. We next see the pair in an open field, wielding angel blades. Donatello has told them that the tablet instructed Gog and Magog could only be killed with weapons touched by God. Castiel chants out some phrases in Enochian to summon the brothers, but when nothing happens, Dean quips that maybe Cas got the words wrong. Cas quickly retorts, “I don’t get words wrong.”
And right on queue we see two positively massive men appear behind the two. Clad in – what else – loincloths. Dean being Dean can barely contain himself at the sight. Cas of course keeps his composure, translating the brother’s ancient Canaanite tongue. Several bits of banter and one argument later, the two launch themselves into battle against the hunter and the angel. The angel blades quickly prove useless, shattering on impact against the brothers massive swords. Dean quickly realizes that the brothers own weapons are effective against them, and they manage to quickly subdue the ancient beings. Only one problem: Gog and Magog do not have hearts. When Cas cuts into the body of one of the brothers, he finds nothing but sand. Dean and Cas quickly realize that something is terribly amiss with the instructions given to them by Donatello. Sam however, is non the wiser and is still back at the bunker mixing ingredients for the spell. And only to confirm Cas and Dean’s suspicions that something is wrong with the prophet, we see Sam’s phone start to ring only for Donatello to send Dean’s call to voicemail before sneaking up on and bashing the younger Winchester over the head.
Dean and Cas return to the bunker to find Sam nursing a head wound. He pulls up security footage of Donatello, who he as managed to subdue and who is now tied up in another room, muttering and shouting to himself. Cas quickly puts two and two together realizing that Donatello sent them after Gog and Magog in hopes that they wouldn’t survive the encounter.
Sam and Dean go to the room where Donatello is being held and begin to interrogate him. Donatello denies everything before muttering an incantation that leaves Dean clutching his chest and gasping for air. Sam quickly pulls his brother from the room, and Cas who was watching the security footage in another room, comes running to Dean’s aid as well.
The three quickly put together what has happened: Donatello has no soul and because of this, the tablet is corrupting him. The human soul normally shields prophets from the writings in the tablets, and because Donatello has no soul there may be no fixing him. This definitely felt reminiscent of Season Six Sam. Donatello was willing to send Cas and Dean to their deaths, just as Sam had been willing to put his older brother in precarious situations during hunts. Cas suggests that they end Donatello’s suffering and then a new prophet will be called, because unlike Sam he isn’t getting his soul back. Sam and Dean aren’t hearing it, so Cas takes matters into his own hands.
He barricades himself in the interrogation room with Donatello and proceeds to tell the prophet he’s going to pull the spell straight from his mind. Even though it may kill them both. We next see Donatello gasping and not moving, tied to the chair in the middle of the holding room.
We next see Cas pacing around the war room. Sam and Dean have apparently taken Donatello to the hospital. They are visibly upset and tell Cas that Donatello is now being kept alive by machines. This was a very important shift in the episode. The Castiel we saw in the final moments of this episode is a Castiel we haven’t seen since season four. He is- as he stated earlier- preparing for war. He is thinking with that same soldier’s callousness that he’d seemingly lost during his time with the Winchesters. Cas finally tells Sam and Dean that as Dean had told him earlier he did what had to be done. “Whatever it takes.”
At the end of the episode we learn of the four ingredients needed for the real spell to bring Jack and Mary home: the grace of an archangel, a fruit from the Tree of Life, the Seal of Solomon, and the blood of “a most holy man.”