Howdy, y’all! Saika here, filling in for Lady Geek Girl’s usual weekly Supernatural review.
This week’s episode was chock full of interesting stuff, both for plot-development reasons and for our boys’ characters. What happens when Henry Winchester, John’s father, jumps out of your closet? Well, apparently a hell of a lot of backstory falls out after him.
So what did I like about this episode? Well, honestly, it was really smart! It introduced new backstory in an intriguing way, by grabbing the loose plot threads of seasons past and pulling, hard. We’ve had Ruby’s knife for five seasons now, but where did it come from—who knows? We had the Campbells’ backstory, but why did Cupid say the Winchesters were just as important in John and Mary’s match-quite-literally-made-in-heaven? And oh my gosh, I actually screamed a little when the “Then” intro started out with the good old-fashioned “Maybe he wants us to pick up where he left off! Saving people, hunting things! The family business!”
Henry himself was a little wooden, but he brought some potentially cool plot twists with him. The idea that the Winchester family are legacy Men of Letters both introduces a new and unexpected twist into their plotlines while also giving us more parallels between the boys and their parents. Dean is John’s emotional constipation and the Campbells’ brawn, and Sam is Mary’s empathy and the Winchesters’ brains. (Yesh, I know, that’s a gross oversimplification. But it works, don’t it?)
This Man of Letters business, which I am interpreting as some sort of combo between being Doctors Sam and Dean Strange, Sorcerers Supreme, and being a more legit, Illuminati-y version of Bobby, will absolutely have to be carried over into further episodes if this one is supposed to mean anything in the grand scheme of things. I think that and this biz with the key could tie in neatly with the whole tablet plotline and give us fodder for potential future seasons without being hokey or contrived (or an excuse to pump a season full of dick jokes I’M LOOKING AT YOU S7), but it has to be carried forward and really supported in future episodes or it means jack squat and this episode was a total waste.
And what about Abbadon? I of course have the prerequisite annoyance with the show introducing yet another one-ep disposable female villain, but I thought she was a great character while she lasted. A Knight of Hell, first of all? That’s cool. She was sassy and interesting, and hey, let’s talk theology for a sec. I’m not the theology master’s student here, but my good friend Wikipedia tells me that Abbadon is an angel of destruction in Revelation. Now, although she did display typical demonic behaviors (black smoke, trapped by a devil’s trap, etc.) I think it’s not beyond reason that Lucifer might have had some fallen angels among his ranks. This is purest speculation, but I’m holding out for Crowley to be a fallen angel too—how else would he understand Enochian two episodes ago? (Also, props to SPN for genderbending the Bible and making Abbadon a lady, although I still have mixed feels about the whole ANOTHER DEAD FEMALE VILLAIN thing. Ahem.)
I do wish that Sam and Dean would have been a little more uncomfortable with the fact that the episode’s baddie was one of Lucifer’s direct henchmen, though. The episode was really heavy in callbacks to things from previous seasons, but Abbadon has no clue about the plans for the Apocalypse, and the boys don’t show any discomfort being in a room with a direct link to their most PTSD-inducing experiences. Also, seeing as Knights of Hell are apparently Kind of a Big Deal, I question why they didn’t show up earlier in the show, like… during the actual apocalypse? Sure, Abbadon jumped right past that whole deal but there had to have been others out there.
Oh, oh, oh, though! MY FAVORITE THING. They put a devil’s trap on the BULLET. That is possibly the cleverest thing they’ve done weapon-wise in a looooong time and it just made me really happy. That and the fact that that comic shop was staffed by a girl. (It’s the little things.)
See ya next time, idjits. Next week it looks like we have… Wait. Nazis? Really? Oh, Supernatural, you were doing so good.