The Road So Far: “Goodbye Stranger” Review



Okay, so for all that this episode was above and beyond upsetting to all of my feels ever, it was also really good. Remind me to shake Robbie Thompson’s hand if I ever meet him—he’s not written a crappy episode yet.

First of all, let’s deal with the plot things. This episode cleaned house in a number of ways and really moved the plot forward, and for that I am super grateful. First off, we saw Dean find out about Sam’s sickness and confront him about it. Shockingly, despite some resentment at the secret-keeping right off, the boys actually sat down and talked about it at the end of the episode! My god, it’s like character development or something!

Secondly, and to my eternal relief (there was much yelling and lamenting and—eventually —rejoicing in my household tonight), Castiel has finally, finally escaped from Naomi’s clutches in a major victory for Team Free Will. That whole “I’m secretly being controlled by an evil angel lady” business has come to light, explaining his recent weirdness to Sam and Dean, and although the episode ended with Castiel going off by himself to protect the angel tablet, I’m happy that this plotline was resolved without damaging the relationship between Cas and the boys any further.

I was intrigued that Naomi and Crowley seem to know each other. There’s a fan theory that Crowley is actually a fallen angel, and with the mentions of Mesopotamia (location of the Garden of Eden), the fact that he speaks Enochian, carries an angel blade, has a history with Naomi, and has a vested interest in the angel tablet, I’m starting to feel like it has some credence. That last, of course, may be unrelated to his possible angelhood, but a girl can dream. Their interaction also proves that Naomi is a real person and not a figment of Castiel’s imagination.

The way the episode ended left me wondering, but in a good way. Sometimes an episode ends (cough, cough, “Man’s Best Friend With Benefits”), and I’m just confused and wish I understood more. These are the sort of questions, though, that I’m excited to learn the answers to. Castiel has the angel tablet now—where is he going with it? To Kevin? Why is he traveling by bus? Did he Fall when he chose the Winchesters over heaven, and if so, why this particular time and not the zillion others he’s sided with Team Free Will? Is Meg gone for good? What’s up with Crowley? What is Naomi going to do now that Castiel’s not in her control? Is the piece Cas has the entire angel tablet? What’s the next trial, and can Sam handle it?

There were a lot of neat little touches in this episode that I loved. Dean finding the ancient predecessor to Busty Asian Beauties; Meg quoting Princess Leia’s famous “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?” line; lots of people calling Sam “moose”, Meg making references back to Season One’s “Born Under a Bad Sign” when she possessed Sam briefly; Sam and Meg having a heart-to-heart about his ‘unicorn’, Amelia. Okay, I really loved Meg in this episode full stop, let’s be honest.

Oh, and Dean dropping fandom ship names in-show, come on, “Megstiel”? On that note, we try to keep these reviews free of shippy feels, but hey, it’s canon-ish, so I also want to say that Meg and Cas’s little back and forth about the pizza man and Cas’s noodle and whatnot was super fricking adorable, and they’d have been super cute together, and I was rooting for them right up until I was overwhelmed with Dean/Cas feels (and, y’know, Meg’s death) at the end.

And since we’re on the topic, Meg. First of all, she may or may not be dead for real, because you can never tell in Supernatural, but let’s pour one out for her. She’s the only female character who’s made it alive through all eight seasons, and she’s really grown on me. Like I said, she was totes brill in this episode, and I sincerely hope that she is not dead for good. Who knows what angel blades do to demons anyway?

So yeah: all in all, this was a great episode, and, although the hellatus-hiatus was awful, it was totally worth waiting for. This sort of quality storytelling mixed with emotional tension and depressing catharsis is one of many reasons I love Supernatural, and I look forward to next week’s episode.