I have started and stopped this article so many times because I was not convinced I could do it justice; however with only a few days left until Dean!Michael [speculation] it really is now or never! It has been a while...a long while. I was a long time sick and now I am much better. My reviews used to ramble in the old days because sick brains don't work as well as healthy ones. Three cheers for me! I also was feeling a bit put off by my old friend "Supernatural" around the time season 11's "Red Meat" rolled across my screen. I actually loved the Carver years. I recognized immediately that he was all about character arcs and that he was repeating Sam Winchester's heroic tragic fall in order to give him the kind of meaningful, well earned redemption arc required for a character that goes "way" dark which Sam did. I will post a piece on my thoughts about this at a future date so PLEASE let's save our comments on that until then. I only bring it up here because Dabb has continued Carver's legacy and because Sam and Dean's character arcs are closely connected.
I loved season 11 and I was not at all surprised by how it ended. In fact I more or less predicted the ending including the garden setting in my review of "Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire". Amara was obviously written as a mirror for Hillary Clinton or someone very much like her; a strong woman who was vilified, shut down and locked up by men who were afraid of what she could do. Chuck would appear obviously, very late in the season. Dean's humanity, empathy, loyalty, and love of family would change how Amara saw the world. The bones of the ending were laid down by Carver in the season premiere.
The writing took a definite turn for the worse with "Red Meat". There was an increase in what I call LOL plotting, LOL canon and LOL dialogue. Things happen that just don't make any sense. Dean and Sam playing family counselors to Chuck and Lucifer?!!! Lucifer acting like a teenager. Ignoring Michael, a powerful archangel, when the world is about to end. Metatron doing an about face and everybody trusting him after he malevolently killed Dean, stole Castiel's grace, put Sam in harm's way and co-opted heaven?!!! Perhaps this was not a storyline that could be wound up in three (?) episodes successfully. Badabing badaboom! But they did. And they did it for a seemingly weak season 12 that offered very little in terms of action. Yeah.
Oh. And Chuck had a special talk with Dean and told him that he was in charge of things. Called him a firewall. Threw in the "... and Sam" because this was Dean he was talking to... Dean thinks in terms of Dean and Sam. Chuck however seems rather "Deancentric". Chuck answered Dean's prayer. Chuck took Dean aside for the little chat about leaving him in charge. In season 4 Chuck tells Dean that Dean is changing God's story by bringing him to Lilith ("The Monster at the End of the Book"). In season 5 Chuck tells Dean that he is changing God's Story by going to Stull Cemetery ("Swan Song"). And in season 11, to Metatron's horror, Chuck appears to write God's story of the end of the world ("Don't Call Me Shurley”). And then Chuck let Dean change the ending to that story too in the season 11 finale (“Alpha and Omega”).
I bring this up not to sing Dean's praises but to emphasize how Chuck, laying the responsibility of the world on Dean, might affect him. This is a guy that was forced to grow up at four and parent a sibling. He already blames himself and takes responsibility for every loss and every mistake made on his watch. It has now been made official by God that everything is his responsibility and everything is his fault. Cue imminent nervous breakdown. Cue season 13. Cue "Advanced Thanatology.”
Here we are at the penultimate episode of season thirteen and though it was wrought with emotion, it was somehow…quieter than I expected for the second-to-last episode. “Exodus” saw more focus on character’s emotional arcs and somewhat less on action in the thirty-one hours in the Apocalypse World, at least until the very end which was, umm…well let’s get on with the review!
Questions. So many questions.
Which question is foremost on my mind after watching Supernatural's "Exodus"? Did Sam tell Jack the truth about Lucifer being left behind in the alternate universe? The answer to this question may change Sam and Jack’s relationship, and Jack’s allegiance to goodness, for all time. Did Sam tell his adopted son that he pushed an injured Lucifer back into Michael’s clutches right at the moment when they all could have been through the rift, or did Sam lie and say that Lucifer was battling Michael and that he and Dean barely escaped, or maybe that Lucifer was dead like Gabriel?
This is an interesting, scary, cringe-worthy, frustrating, and emotional episode of Supernatural and I'm wavering between the enjoyment of well-acted and engaging drama and dismay that Sam now has one more thing to feel guilty about.
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