To the left, to the left… we have seven episodes left until the irreplaceable Supenatural comes to an epic end. And while the buildup has been years in the making, this weeks episode written by Eugenie Ross Lemming and Brad Buckner brought back Geneveive Padalecki’s Ruby 2.0, Danneel Ackles character Sister Jo/Anael, and one surprise big enough to fill the Empty itself. In the episode directed by Amyn Kadrali, lets see what happened in the past, and what may happen next.
The recaps of Supernatural themselves are always a bit of a highlight as they can bring back virtually anything from the infamous “pizza man” scenes, to our first time meeting Ruby 2.0. This time around, it was both, along with being reminded that Jack does not have a soul, however Death has him on a mission to kill God, along with Sam and Dean being the messengers of said destruction. We open this week in the bunker, books scattered along the library table and laptop open, Chuck is outside of CNN’s range. Just then a crash comes from one of the other rooms in the bunker, Sam and Dean hurry off to check it out. While “I Want You” from Savage Garden blares out of a tiny seafoam-green Fiat in the middle of the armory, another, much preppier, version of Sam and Dean step out of the vehicle for just long enough to acknowledge our Sam and Dean before the golden gate in the background flashes and they disappear.
Our Sam and Dean explain to Cas what just happened but he doesn’t understand, they were them but from another world, ala The French Mistake, Billie/Death shows up to tell them the boys were running as God was destroying their reality. Billie comes with the next step for Jack, since God is going to begin tearing apart this world when he is finished with all the others. Jack’s next step is to find the Occultum. Sam notes that “Occultum” is Latin for hidden and asks, “Where do we find it?” Well, Sam, if we knew that, we wouldn’t have this episode. Billie explains that it has been missing for centuries, it is not a weapon, and it’s meant to strengthen Jack in a spiritual way. They need to be ready, vigilant, and not stupid.
This whole thing is insane, right? Death is our Winchester hero’s Obi-wan, they are the messengers of destruction for Jack to kill God, but what does that mean for Amara? After all, without Gods light, there is only darkness… we have been down that road before. Does Jack take her out too? Dean brings up the idea that if Jack takes out God, and Amara, who takes over? Jack? Cas walks in with information on the Occultum from Sergi, because yes they are that desperate at the moment, finding out that it is divine it its origin. Cas tries to tell the story of what happened to it, and Dean keeps interrupting trying to finish the sentence, further annoying Cas. Sergi had tracked the Occultum to a faith healer, who was described as “beautiful,” and had “hands that glowed.” They know exactly who it is.
Sam and Dean pay a visit to Sister Jo at the local Kiwanas Hall, asking her about the Occultum. She is not amused to be asked to be on their side, against God. Our boys break out the angel blades, and Jo tells them she doesn’t have it, she had given it to Ruby a while ago for a fee. Jo tells the boys the two of them used to run jobs together when it suited them, trading souls for cash and the like. Ruby also hid the Occultum and contacted the buyer, never telling Jo where it was because, Dean, well, killed her. The last Jo knew, and it was stashed in hell by Ruby herself.
Meanwhile at the bunker, Cas and Jack are discussing the benefits of coming back to life. Jack wants to be into all the things that life has to offer but he doesn’t feel things anymore like he used to, before he lost his soul. He understands joy and sadness, but he doesn’t feel them in his bones. For instance, what he did to Mary, Jack wonders if Dean will ever forgive him while Cas assures him that one day Dean may explode and let it all out or one day he may move on and let it go. Cas doesn’t know how long it could take for Dean to forgive Jack in the end.
Sam and Dean return to the bunker with new information on the Occultum, and they decide to locate it using a spell from Rowena to go to Hell. While Sam takes the lead, “Samwitch” Dean notes, and Cas comes in to pull the boys away to the armory where AU Sam and Dean are in a translucent void. They aren’t in any pain, they can’t go back to their world, the two of them are sort of “stuck” and will stay that way for a while since our Sam and Dean have to go to actual Hell. Cas has the idea of going to talk to Ruby to find out where the Occultum really is but Dean orders him to stay topside and keep the spell alive.
Our boys arrive in Hell and are greeted by a demon who tells them Rowena is hosting a reception for newly condemned souls. Sounds like Rowena, but also sounds like a trap. At the bunker however while the purple flame glows for the gateway to hell, Cas decides to be “Winchester Stupid” and have Jack almost kill him to send him to the Empty. But what about Cas’ deal with the Empty? Cas is far from happy so he doesn’t see that being an issue and while Jack may not have a soul, even he knows this is wrong. Yet, Cas has faith that he will succeed in not having him be lost forever. Jack asks Cas if he is sure, Cas tells him, “not at all, give me one hour then bring me back.” And with that, Cas is in the Empty while Sam and Dean were indeed set up in a trap, by Sister Jo.
Cas is in the Empty calling out for Ruby when we hear a very familiar voice that we haven’t heard in years, “Hello, Clarence.” (screams!) Meg? No, not this time around. Cas always was quick on the take when he needed to be, the Empty went with a demon theme and since Death and her are working together against God, Cas is here on that business, not for social reasons. Cas demands to see Ruby, and the Empty tells him, “go get her, Pizza Man.” Ruby appears out of a flame in the blackness, stating that its a little obvious what Jo told them about hiding the Occultum in Hell. Ruby still has a soft spot for our Moose too at the mention of Sam. Ruby’s side of the story is that Jo called her about the Occultum pre-apocalypse, and that everyone would need a plan B if things go Heaven’s way. Ruby cut a deal with Jo back then to ride out the apocalypse in the safest place there is, the Occultum, so she stashed it. She also agrees to help Cas if he agrees to help her get out of there. Its not Empty, its full; full of sorrow and despair, of angels and demons dreaming about their regrets, forever. Cas is clearly connected, so he agrees and Ruby tells him the location of where she stashed it.
Meanwhile Sam and Dean have returned from Hell to find a nearly dead Cas who is making this bargain. While Jack hopefully explains what Cas did and why, Sam is on edge and Dean is well, demanding he be brought back now. Cas is on his way out, when the Empty decides to make Cas wish he were dead, crunching at what bones he has, and putting him in insurmountable pain that Cas hasn’t felt in a while. Maybe going to visit the being of time and space that wants you dead wasn’t the brightest of ideas since when Cas does leave, she sips her chardonnay with a “see you soon.”
Cas wakes up to Sam and Dean in the bunker, being called an idiot by Dean, even after his plan worked. Before the four of them leave to find the Occultum, Jack asks about Chuck, and what if he checks in? They head to the armory to open a rift similar to Apocalypse World, using Grace from Cas. Sam works his magic and the spell takes hold, bringing the AU versions to our world. After a conversation with the Sam and Dean of this alternate universe, our Sam and Dean find out their dad is still alive, the two of them are spoiled rich kids who own a plane, and they get paid for hunting monsters worldwide. AU Sam and Dean reluctantly agree to stay behind, but Sam has to lose the manbun and neither can be such fashionistas.
The four of them from our world arrive at the church where Ruby instructed Cas to go. Just as Jack notes it all seems too easy, Hellhounds appear, because why would anything be easy? Sam holds the door away from the hounds as the moonlight shines on the cross to point the way for the Occultum. the reflection on the floor shows a panel that can be lifted and a velvet bag with what looks like a golden snitch inside. I swear I can’t make this stuff up. It has an Enochian inscription, “in order to be in the Occultum, the Occultum must be in you,” while the men argue over what it means, feeling betrayed by both Jo and Ruby, our boy Jack decides to swallow it.
At the bunker, AU Sam and Dean are trying to be “authentic” Sam and Dean. AU Sam did not get rid of his manbun as his hair was “sacred”. All they had to do was drink beer in front of a computer screen. Dean notes that, “This Sam and Dean are simple but there’s no quarterly reports, no investors to answer to. All they have to do is hunt monsters and they have this place to their own… they have it made.” Yeah they really do. When AU Sam and Dean take off to Rio, however, they mention they saw a car when looking around while our boys were gone… but what car? Our Sam and Dean had Baby with them for the Church and Occultum. Perhaps its a plot for one of the last episodes remaining, or a plot hole for comedic purposes given Dean’s reaction to finding out they not only saw, but drove it.
Oh Jack, will you ever learn? In this case I hope not. Just as you believe nothing is happening from eating the Occultum, our Jack is on the floor, transported to the Garden of Eden. There he is greeted by a girl who says he must not be human as they cannot enter so he must be an angel. God hid away the Garden after banishing Adam and Eve, but will Jack be banished as well or will this place change him as he was told it would? Maybe. The girl walks away and tells him he will know soon enough. A snake comes down from the tree, asking Jack “Who are you really, who are you meant to be?” and we are shown all the good and bad that Jack has done, from learning how to drive with Dean, talking with his mother, killing the snake, conversations with Lucifer, to killing Mary. Jack collapses in the Garden and is transported back to the church where Dean and Cas have been arguing over Jack eating the Occultum to begin with. A bright white light shines in the church and blasts away the Hellhounds that had comes through the door to attack them, while Sam, Dean, and Cas all surround him to see if he is okay.
The Garden has been the crossroads of divinity and humanity and no one has been there since the exile, until Jack. Dean asks Cas if Jack is okay, but Cas tells him he’s different. As the three of them go into the kitchen to talk to Jack, we find him sitting at the table crying because he didn’t understand it then. His mother died too, he apologizes, it was his fault. Cas tells Dean that Jack has his soul back, while Jack begs Dean and Sam for forgiveness. We see a tearful eyed Dean contemplative, but not answering Jack as we blackout…
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