It’s hard to call a season a success after six episodes, but let’s just call it a damn good start. By itself, “Our Little World” doesn’t set the SPN Verse on fire. Always reliable writer Robert Berens gave us a serviceable episode that stuck to the basics of moving a story along, with a few big reveals thrown in at the end for fun. But when you couple it with the exceptional four episodes (yes, I’m omitting that other one), suddenly it’s a crucial piece of an epic tale. And we did learn some new things that are definitely important for later.
The Continuity Fairy Has Been Busy!
The continuity fairy has been sprinkling all sorts of dust over season eleven, and suddenly I’m having strange visions of head writer Andrew Dabb in a tutu (sorry for the disturbing visual). For the first time since season five these writers look like they’re actually comparing notes and working within the boundaries. They’re actually following rules! For starters, Sam declared in episode 11.01 that they should focus on saving people. That hasn’t been forgotten in episode 11.06 and he’s doing something we haven’t seen since season four, trying to save the hosts possessed by the demons. It’s amazing that his declaration has gone to that level of detail. Sam is a wise one though and realizes not all can be saved. He accepts it as a reality and doesn’t take a lot of time to dwell on it, except taking a second to count that he did save two out of three.
Then there’s Crowley cleaning up Amara’s mess from last week, which was important since Sam and Dean stayed in the same town working the case. It goes to show, there is a residual damage to what’s left behind. While I’m sad by the demise of the lovable-even-with-no-soul Len, at least he wasn’t left as a forgotten footnote for fans to obsess over for years to come (and trust me we would). Berens carried on that soulless plot nicely and logically, wrapping it up without a single “WTF?” from the fans while not spending a lot of time on it either. After all, there was a lot of cover.
I felt there was some closure with the Dean and Crowley saga, and I hope that is true. Crowley, after all this time, has finally decided he’s ready to kill Dean. Okay, the “bromance” comment went a bit too far, but after all it was a major plot point for season ten (I know, I don’t like remembering it either). Major kudos BTW for Sam getting in for once a passive-aggressive comment of his own, bringing up Dean and Crowley’s “summer of love.” Was Crowley serious though about killing Dean or was it a test for Amara? I think it was jealousy personally over the connection he saw between Dean and Amara and he wanted to end it before Amara could overpower him. Too late!
Continuity wins big though with the return of Metatron. Cas fought his fear of his own inner brutality and what a better way than to take it out on Metatron! I loved Castiel coming in and healing someone again. Remember that Castiel can actually heal? Boy, wouldn’t that have helped with Charlie? (Still bitter). But the real prize was watching how dead on Berens got the sniveling Metatron and his attempts to manipulate poor Castiel. Metatron may be down and out, but he’s still trying to earn a buck. He’s resorted to stealing and letting people die for the sake a good story, and has even adapted to telling that story in the video age.
Yes, I laughed when Castiel easily snagged the demon tablet from Metatron’s apartment. After all it took for Metatron to get it last season and the fuss it raised in season eight, it was almost like the writers were declaring, “Nah, we’re done with it.” May it enjoy its spot in the Men of Letters Archive, only to be discovered by some unwitting buffoon years later after Sam and Dean are long gone.
Then there were just the little things that make a fan happy. The return of the “paper wall of clues” on the motel room wall. Or how about the return of the tacky loud motel wallpaper? Way to re-use the walls from “Changing Channels.” Or how about the dog on the skateboard in the TV news segment? The newswoman joked “That dog thinks it’s people.” That’s exactly the quote from Rowena to Castiel last season in “The Prisoner.” “I'm sorry, you're just fascinating, an angel that rejected Heaven. That's like a fish that wants to fly or a dog that thinks it's people.” Like I said, the little things.
There’s a Great Story Too
Continuity aside, there was a lot going on in this week’s story and a lot of it worked. Not everything. I found Crowley struggling on how to manage a teenage girl to be a waste of his time, especially when we all knew that Amara would get the best of him by the end of the episode. Their little talks were quite awkward. But I loved how the story progressed the back and forth between the three stories, working their way to a fast and tense pace at the end. Normally I don’t like that, but in this episode they all happened at the right breaks. See, that tactic does work at times.
The switching between the Sam and Castiel fight scenes was particularly interesting, with both technically having the same outcome, each taking the high road. But I love surprise twists, and Sam’s rush to save Dean took a stunning turn as he was crippled again with another vision. The timing was particularly interesting, don’t you think? Was it meant to stop or warn?
The back and forth then cleverly switched between Castiel and Dean, one side being mesmerizing exchange between Dean and Amara. The sensual and reassuring way this budding young woman questioned Dean about their bond, wondering why there is such a connection between the two, it confirmed there’s no way that Dean can kill her. I got the feeling it was more of a guardian/protector thing rather than an attraction, but no doubt they have something between them. Sam and Castiel can see it and they weren’t even there.
The other side had Castiel finally breaking Metatron, getting him to talk. It just goes to show what great things Curtis Armstrong can do with the right material. No wonder he’s cynical, he knows the truth. He knows that any knowledge of the real God would ruin the faithful, and suddenly we’re again questioning who is the real hero of the story, God or Amara? So, Amara is God’s sister. That isn’t too surprising given this show. It loves showing the epic battles among family. We had the dysfunctional archangel siblings, the twist on Cain and Abel, so why not God himself having kin? It really adds up in a show that’s primary theme is family. How exactly though does Amara plan to find dear bro and what sort of destruction will she leave in her path? There has to be a reason she’s feared other than scary bedtime stories.
The true fallout though came in a tense situation between Dean, Castiel, and Sam at the bunker after it was all over. Alright, it wasn’t outright fighting, but there was a lot of implications being thrown. I love that Castiel stopped himself from killing Metatron and took mercy on him. That is a very Cas thing to do, despite Dean’s objections. It isn’t fair to take someone out when he’s down, no matter what he’s done. I even loved the guilt tinged, “I put him in traction.” Was Castiel’s words to Dean him just being angry or could he sense that there was something that Dean wasn’t telling him about Amara getting away? I think it’s both. It’s rather entertaining to see Castiel jump back at one of Dean’s outbursts the way Sam normally would. Sam just stood there and watched, even taking Dean’s swipe about getting messages from God. I can only assume that Sam is too worried about his own situation right now.
Worried he should be too. Holy crap!!! I was most freaked out by Sam’s final shot, the memories of his visions hitting him thick. It’s the cage! I felt a deep pit in my stomach over Sam’s terrified reaction. That was one freaky visual, the ancient stone box with strange symbols, all just large enough for fingers to work their way through, suspended from chains in Hell. I’m sure Sam is coming to the realization that maybe these visions aren’t coming from God. He probably has a good idea who they are coming from and he’s spooked for sure.
I’ve stopped questioning why Sam doesn’t share such things with Dean, but I’m sure he doesn’t feel comfortable when Dean is flying off the handle with Cas and making snide comments about God visions. I wish he’d at least talk to Castiel. But then again, Cas hasn’t been himself lately either. I’m holding out hope that at least he’ll say something cryptic to Sheriff Donna next week. Or, there’s…oh, I won’t spoil it.
But if Sam’s vision didn’t get us, then the closing of Amara out in the real world did. Not only did they use the awesome, “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” but they used the Urge Overkill version, which is far superior to the original Neil Diamond version (and I love Neil Diamond). It really added something to the eerie feel of Amara being on her own in the world.
The question is, who are you most worried about at this point, Sam or Dean? I’m wondering what has Dean so on edge. Is it a feeling of responsibility, or that the control Amara has scaring him? He’s not fully on board Sam’s policy of not killing people, and seemed to enjoy that he could kill the demon in the damaged meatsuit. Sam wondered why he was so eager to just charge in and try to kill Amara, especially when they didn’t know how to do it. Is it that Dean feels the need to be near her? Something is really off and I don’t get why yet.
Other Stray Thoughts
Has Castiel taken over Sam’s room, or did they give him his own room? It looks a lot like Sam’s (the books, the files), and I do remember Sam telling him to watch Netflix in his room, but Castiel looked mighty cozy in there. If they don’t have another room, Sam might be bunking with Dean again. Should Cas get his own room? How would an angel decorate his own room? I advise you all to toss that one around amongst yourselves.
I do have one request. Now that Crowley’s hideout has been discovered, can we please stop with the whole Crowley running a bunch of black eyed buffoons in the dingy place on earth thing? The boring meetings? He needs to spend more time in Hell or out and about being a nemesis. I swear those scenes usually drag an episode down and I’m tired of seeing the bureaucratic side of Crowley. Given the Amara plot and Sam and Dean’s discovery it worked in this episode, but I was done with it early last season.
Speaking of this week’s young Amara, didn’t she have that Dana Scully/Gillian Anderson vibe? Yes, I’m very excited about the X-Files coming back.
Quote of the episode:
Dean: I thought you were going with socially acceptable binge watching, “The Wire” and “Game of Thrones.”
Castiel: Yeah, well, man cannot live on caviar alone Dean.
Overall, I give this episode a B+. Very well plotted, but a few slow bits with Crowley and his Hell on Earth dragging things down a bit. It’s no big deal though given all we came away with. More nuggets please! We only have 3 more episodes until Winter Hellatus. We’re hungry.