“Jack, don’t let anyone tell you who you’re supposed to be. Because who you’re supposed to be isn’t fate: it isn’t me, it isn’t your father. You are who you choose to be.”
With the first two episodes focusing on this season’s A storyline (Jack the Nephilim, Mary trapped on Alt-Earth, Cas death) it was about time for a divergence in the road. If you know anything about Supernatural, then you know that means monster-of-the-week time.
Called onto a case in Omaha by Missouri Moseley (played by the wonderful Loretta Devine), who we haven’t seen since season one’s “Home” way back win, the Winchesters find they are on the trail of a wraith that has a taste for the psychic brain. To be exact, it’s Dean that’s on the case while Sam hangs out back at the Bunker, playing the role of Mr. Miyagi (Dean’s words, not mine) for the still shaky Jack. We’ll get to the Sam/Jack dynamic, especially the powerful moment the two shared. But first the wraith…
Wanting nothing to do with Jack, Dean finds his way to Omaha where Jody Mills is waiting as they investigate the murder of Missouri’s protégé. A psychic in her own right, Missouri asks the duo to head to Georgia to protect her estranged son James and his daughter, Patience. Considering the wraith’s already mentioned his predilection for psychics, it’s no surprise when it turns out that Patience—a beautiful and extremely intelligent high school senior—is sporting her own psychic abilities. Her abilities come into place on multiple occasions, the first of which is the dream she had of the wraith attacking her in the halls of her school. She gets away thanks to Jody and Dean’s arrival but we know the wraith wouldn’t give up that easily. He ends up kidnapping Patience, taking her to the obligatory abandoned building where he plans to take his time with her young, psychic brainpan. But thanks to a divination trick by James the cavalry arrives…and then they’re dead.
Fear not intrepid Supernatural-ites, it was just a bit of déjà vu/premonition from Patience. She’s able to use her visions to save everyone from a horrid death and Dean delivers the coup de grâce, eliminating the immediate threat.
As far as the character herself, from the moment Patience (played by Clark Backo) stepped on screen, I knew there was something special about her. Not necessarily in the psychic way but in that the writers would be crazy if they didn’t keep her around kind of way. It was very reminiscent of the first time Claire Novak was introduced. Despite not knowing if she’d return, Claire left an impression that screamed a deeper dive into her character. It should come as no surprise that the two will be teaming up next year in the Supernatural spin-off, Wayward Sisters. In my mind, that show’s potential has been kicked up a few notches.
“It’s your choice…”
Back at the Bunker, Sam’s having quite the time trying to get Jack to tap into his God-like powers. He may look like a young adult but Jack is a few days old, expressing the doubts of someone abandoned or used. It doesn’t help that the one time he felt in control of said powers was when Asmodeus was messing with his head. Nor does Dean’s practical response of, if Jack has to die, Dean’ll be swinging the ax. I see why the kid would have a hang-up on using his powers. Also, Jared Padalecki must have read about my effusive praise of Jensen Ackles Prayer to Chuck thy God in the premiere because when he reaches out to Jack, the Nephilim asks why is he being so nice to him.
“Because I know what it feels like to feel like you don’t belong,” Sam tells him. “To feel like there’s this darkness inside of you, to be scared of who you are, what you can do. Dean. Cas…my family helped me through that. So now I want to help you. Because you’re not evil, Jack.”
Even with the power in Sam’s words, when Jack overhears the two brothers argue, it probably casts even more doubt in his mind. Dean calls out Sam for wanting to use the Nephilim to save their mother, dismissing the notion that Sam actually cares about him. It’s sad because Dean is in such a dark place that any sort of positive emotion is trampled by the myriad of loses they’ve experienced, not just last season but over the 13 years of hunting. Dean even expresses this notion to Patience when she wonders if she should forget about her abilities.
“This life: hunting, monsters…there’s no joy in it,” Dean says. “There’s nothing but pain, horror, and death. So if you get a chance at normal, you take it.” For her part, Jody has a different perspective, remembering how she tried to push Claire away from the life only to have her adopted daughter strike out on her own. “It’s your choice,” Jody tells her before adding “my door is always open”.
Dean has always been the cynical brother and that’s not to say he hasn’t had his reasons but with this recent blow, I can only wonder what it would take to pull him from the doldrums.
For starters, how about that Castiel is alive in some darkened void?
- Sometimes I have issues with the lack of development with the monster-of-the-week episodes. Not this one. While the monster itself was weak and uninteresting, everything else was. Patience, the newest addition to the Supernatural family, was great (she better be, considering the episode was titled after her), Sam had such a strong moment with Jack, and Dean’s pain is nearly tangible every time he’s on screen.
- Not too far from Dean is Jack. The Nephilim is carrying his own pain. Blaming himself for his mother’s death, afraid that his destiny towards evil is written in the stars, Jack is that prototypical tortured soul. If he ends up believing that Sam is using him, Jack could be that lost wildcard with neither house nor home. Let’s hope that’s not the case.
- I know it may not be a big deal but I’m always a bit bummed when a Supernatural character returns only to get iced without a memorable sendoff. Sure, the Missouri character had only been seen once before…and yet, I felt they could have done a bit more with her, especially when you consider Wayward Sisters.
- The wraith was spectacularly meh.
- Castiel’s back!! Well, not actually back but alive in some cosmic sense. Yeah, we knew that’d be happening, just not when. The biggest question has to be where the blue blazes is he? It’s no doubt that Jack will be the one to pull him back. Hell, Cas heard the Nephilim whisper his name in Voidland, it’s only a matter of time before he plucks Cas from there, similar to how the angel pulled Dean “from Perdition”.