Stunned. Shell Shocked. Numb… and in awe.
Those are all descriptors of how I’m feeling the morning after seeing Supernatural’s “Despair”. It was a complex finale-level episode, written by Robert Berens and artistically directed by Richard Speight, Jr. So much happened, it’s hard to sort through emotions to even begin to comprehend the ramifications of the episode’s climactic events. It all ended in a cliffhanger of Chuck annihilating life on Earth. How does one process those kind of Endgame stakes? Our heroes didn’t avert the apocalypse this time. They didn’t save the world. They stood by helplessly and watched everyone vanish. You would think that horror would dominate one’s feelings about an episode. If not that, then maybe one (or all) of the other mind-blowing moments:
…We lost Donna, Eileen, AU Bobby, AU Charlie, all the hunters Sam saved, presumably Jody and her family, Garth and his family and all the other characters we dearly love.
…Jack lived through a detonation of cosmic proportions despite Chuck’s best efforts to kill him. Jack also mysteriously lost all his Nephilim powers (Were they used up in the explosion?), but now seems to be able to both create and destroy life.
…Billie died. Yeah, Dean killed Death again.
…Sam, Dean and Jack are all alone, like they never have been before, with no allies or ways out.
All of those shockingly intense events added to the impact of “Despair”, but one unexpected perfect moment of happiness in a beautifully poignant death scene eclipsed them all.
THEN: Sergei has a key to Death's Library. The Empty, dressed as Meg, tells them that Billie wants to take over. The Empty attacks Cas. Chuck and Amara hold hands, and Chuck absorbs his sister. Dean tells Jack, "It's time." Jack's eyes glow with power. Sam insists that Billie is playing them. Dean pulls his gun on Sam and yells, "Move!" Chuck crashes through the door. He tells them they can watch Jack die.
NOW: Sam, with one of Jack's arms over his shoulders, supports him to a chair in the main room of the bunker where he sits, eyes and the skin around his eyes glowing with power. Cas advises him to take deep breaths. Dean somewhat wildly asks, "What do you do?" "I don't know!" responds Sam. "Leave me!" says Jack. "I don't want to hurt you." "We're not giving up on you!" Dean tells him, adding that perhaps they could try one of Rowena's spells: "We've got to do something!" "You've done enough!" says a dry, disapproving voice. Billie has appeared in the bunker. Sam says that Jack is doomed. "Doomed because of YOU," accuses Billie. Cas pleads, "You can stop it; please!" Billie spins Jack's chair around. Jack's face is beginning to crack like a broken antique doll's; light spills through the cracks. Suddenly, he disappears. "What'd you DO?" yells Dean at Death.
Jack appears in the unmitigated blackness of the Empty, but there's a buzzing of power building up under his skin. The entity still appearing as blonde Meg smirks. "Hey, kid, how's you get here? You're not looking so hot." Then, its eyes widen slightly with understanding: "Oh." Jack hollers and explodes.
Wow…well…that’s a humdinger. So much to take in. The further I dug into this review, the more my head started to hurt! But then I accepted that I should be thrilled that we all have something big to talk about. The plots have been so superficial of late and this was anything but.
“Unity” was exciting for sure, but to me anyway, it felt a little off. You know, like “Heroes’ Journey” off. Unlike that episode though, this wasn’t surrealism. It’s almost like we were watching our favorite characters and our favorite story through someone else’s eyeballs. Someone else’s perceived view. Once I accepted that skewed reality, suddenly the story made sense in an offbeat way.
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