Four Days Later
I can’t believe that Supernatural season 13 just keeps getting better! “Advanced Thanatology” was another superb episode, extending the run to five in a row! Steve Yockey may have produced the best episode yet this year – quite an accomplishment considering my high opinion of the prior episodes. Billie returned as Death, and in a stunning, emotional scene, Castiel returned to his family. There were no distractions of an alternate universe (which I love but still takes time away from the bros), the stupidity of Heaven or Hell (or the associated cheesy depictions therein), no Princes of Hell or ridiculously fake drama, and no spinoffs to set up. Just Sam and Dean on a hunt, having deep conversations around the Impala. Action, emotion and heart stopping (no pun intended?) surprises. It’s like Supernatural found its center again.
The impact of this episode came primarily from two powerful scenes – the return of Billie and her ensuing conversation with Dean, and the return of Castiel. The first encounter was prolonged, full of significant dialog, insights and foreshadowing. The second was just a few seconds long and not a single word was spoken yet it left us breathless. I considerd solely discussing these scenes since there is so much to explore about each of them, but that would be doing a disservice to the story. The underlying hunt, with its messages of fear, death and grief, masterfully wove together threads of meaning as well. To understand this episode, we need to look at the story’s entire tapestry.