Again, before I get into this review, I need to thank all of the people at The Winchester Family Business for allowing me to write another post. Also, thank you to all of the fans for the love via Twitter. It makes my heart happy to engage with the fandom. With that in mind, please feel free to engage with me via Twitter and here in the comments to this review. I love talking about the show and I love this fandom.
Alright, time to talk about Peace of Mind. First things first: as a screenwriter, I need to give credit to Meghan on this episode, because I felt it was a brilliant piece of TV, that moved the story forward in a way that was interesting, while also being hilarious, heartfelt, and perfectly Supernatural. There is no other show that I watch that could have me laughing one second and emotionally compromised the next.
Dean and Jack
Last week, I talked about how much I loved seeing Rowena and Sam’s relationship flourish. While this episode mostly surrounded Sam and Cas, it was a tour de force in showing how much Dean and Jack’s relationship has changed and developed at lightning speed. At the beginning of Season 13, Dean was NOT having Jack. Not at all. By the time we moved through the first couple episodes and Cas came back, we saw Dean learning to accept Jack as part of his family. Then, after "Wayward Sisters" and Jack’s disappearance to the AU, we saw Dean slowly realize that he had much stronger feelings about Jack than even he expected.
While Dean’s decision to allow Michael to possess him at the end of Season 13 was based in the idea of getting rid of Lucifer and saving Sam, part of me can’t keep the idea out of my head that he was maybe doing it for Jack too. Yes, Dean has died for Sam and he’s done worse for less, but I think that his motivation was to make sure Sam was safe and that Lucifer was gone, but in order for Sam to be okay, Jack needed to be okay.
But, in Season 14, we’ve seen Dean come to his own realization that Jack is family, no matter how weird or annoying he can be. When Jack dies, Dean realizes that he loves the kid like family, thus leading him and Sam to do what they do for family--anything. Even if this episode focused mostly on Sam, the moments we saw of Dean and Jack were perfect and they showed the development in both Dean and Jack. Jack has learned from the best in terms of “fine.” Seeing that play itself out a little bit in the episode was interesting, because while he knows that he’s the furthest thing from fine, he doesn’t really know any different. He’s seen moments of emotional expression from the Winchesters, but they are all masters of repression and ignoring it. As a Winchester himself, Jack is pretending that everything is okay. But when we see him with Donatello, we realize that he is the furthest thing from it, and he doesn’t know how to handle that. Donatello’s advice of “What Would the Winchesters Do?” is coming from the right place, but I think might be a little bit too simple. But Jack wouldn’t be a Winchester if he didn’t make Winchester-typical bad choices.
Sam and CasNow, let’s talk Sam and Cas. I find it instantly fascinating how Sam is the one to get sucked into this fantasy. While Sam is human, he’s had a life’s worth of experience hunting and I figure his weird radar is pretty fine-tuned. Why on Chuck’s green Earth did he drink that milkshake? Cas on the other hand has had presumably billions of years of experience but constantly shows that he rarely understands the ways of humans. Yet he knows better than to drink that milkshake and thus doesn’t get affected by the spell. While it turns out the shake was not a part of the town’s mind control, it easily could have been, so why would a hunter take a chance on being drugged, and I can’t 'shake' the feeling that something was hinky with those shakes!
While part of it might have been that Sam is human and Cas is an angel, I think there is something to be said for Sam’s desire to escape his world. He’s seen it all when it comes to the supernatural world and for him, the loss and guilt never seems to get easier. He has taken on the deaths of all of the AU hunters and I’m sure his guilt goes deeper than that because he was the one to talk Dean out of the watery non-death he had planned for himself. There were probably a lot of “what ifs...” and “if only’s…” floating through Sam’s head and the mayor possibly picked up on that and gave Sam what he wanted. He provided Sam a life without the guilt and trauma and burden of hunting. We’ve seen it time and time again; something happening to someone close to Sam and him running away. He said it himself at the end of the episode - he hated the bunker and wanted to be away from the place that reminded of him of his failures.
I saw that some took umbrage with Sam’s actions, thinking they were out of character (no not Umbridge, umbrage). Here’s my thought: This is in character for all of the Winchesters. They take on blame for things that aren’t theirs. Is Sam actually at fault? Hell no. But it’s right on the mark for him to take the blame for it. He’s running away from his perceived failure, not an actual one. Sam did nothing wrong, but it is just like him to think he did and try to get away from it. Also, I saw on Twitter and I agree that Dean did the right thing by letting Sam have his space to be with his trauma. Season 1 Dean would have been all over Sam or try to get him to ignore it, hunt it away, or sex it away, so it’s nice to see that Dean has realized that Sam has his own way of dealing with his trauma. He pats Sam on the back and leaves him alone, giving him the nonverbal, “I have your back,” but giving him the space, he desires. Character. Development. YAY.
Let’s end on a higher note. CONTINUITY. I love continuity. YAY. The constant reference to "Yellow Fever" was something that was unexpected when I started the episode, but from the second I saw the scene with the boa from the episode, I knew we were going to get some comedy gold from Jensen. He delivers it with an unparalleled timing and the perfect amount of camp, at the same time taking it seriously, because Dean’s fears are probably well founded when it comes to snakes.
There’s "Peace of Mind". I’m looking forward to seeing more of where the show is going next week. Can you believe that we’re only five episodes out from the finale? Woah. Happy week, fandom. Hope you liked this. Please share below your comments on my review and the characters' growth this season!
Read all The WFB's reviews of "Peace of Mind" on the Feature Articles Page!