“But even when we’re strong, man, things are gonna happen. We’re gonna make mistakes. Nobody’s perfect, right? But we can get better. Every day we can get better.”
Making a good season finale is often a tricky business. While a bad finale can stall any momentum a season has made, a good one can be that perfect capstone to a strong season. Even when a season hasn’t been consistent, a great finale can leave viewers with a positive outlook and hope for the future.
For twelve seasons, Supernatural has time and again delivered finales that generally rank from strong to spectacular. Sure, there have been a few to disappoint but you can generally count on the Winchesters and company to go out with a bang. And for Season Thirteen’s send off, all I can say is…oh my stars and garters.
Thanks to a well-crafted narrative that did not leave viewers with too many loose ends to tie up, “Let the Good Times Roll” is able to focus on the entire Lucifer arc that includes his relationship with Jack, the deal he made with Michael, and how the Winchesters and the rest of the white hats will deal with it all. Other than Mark Pelligrino’s charm and delight as Lucifer, the levity we often get from a Supernatural episode is relegated to the beginning when Sam gives the Alt-Earthers a crash course in our world. Leave it to Bobby to call out The Shape of Water for its fantastical plot (and subsequent Oscar) and dub the POTUS an ‘idjit’. Speaking of the gruff Mr. Singer, we get a moment between him and Mary, one that was never quite touched on during the battle for Alt-Earth but the knowing glance that passes between them is one we’ll have to wait until next year to pay off as more important things are in motion.
Early one, before the crap hits the fan, Sam and Dean are reflecting on the what-ifs. Jack is coming into his own and, with his help, there’s a chance they can retire from the life and not have it retire them. “Remember when you asked if we could stop it, Dean says, “all the evil in the world? If we could really change things. Maybe with Jack we can.” Those hopeful thoughts are put to the side when the body of Maggie, an Alt-Earther, is found in the woods, her head bashed in. At first, her death seems like a non sequitur to the main story arc but that doesn’t last long as it becomes the impetus that sets off an unbelievably thrilling climax.
So let’s just get into the juicy, shall we?
After where things ended last week, it’s no surprise when Lucifer arrives and chats up his son Jack. Combined with Mark Pelligrino’s wonderful delivery and amazing dialogue, we are reminded—for the second week in a row—that Lucifer’s greatest strength may not be his archangel pedigree but the webs he can spin with that silver (or is his platinum) tongue. His first conversation with Jack is filled with just enough of him taking responsibility for things that a naïve Jack doesn’t pick up on all the things his father is not saying. Moreover, it’s easy to see why because Lucifer strikes when Jack’s doubts about himself—striking himself while yelling “why do you keep hurting people?!” Make no mistake, Lucifer is a predator in the deadliest sense and, like all predators, they tend to attack when (and where) their prey is weakest. His manipulation of Jack is masterful and, for a few beats, it seems as if Jack is ready to pack it up and take a father/son trip throughout the cosmos.
Thus enter Michael.
While he may be from another world, the strength and conviction of this Michael is every bit as impressive as he station suggests. Of course, his proclivity to enjoy the killing of humans takes a bit away from his character. Still, Christian Keyes plays the character with such a powerful and arrogant gusto that one can’t help but be somewhat disappointed that he didn’t get more screen time this season. Back to the story, his scene with Dean at his mercy while Sam can only watch is eerily similar to Thanos first taking stage at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War. Whereas in that movie there was a Hulk, the Winchesters made due with the biggest of Hail Mary’s, a prayer to Jack who, in a sick display of power, nearly squeezes the life from Michael. It’s a devastating reminder of just what this Nephilim can do but, before he can finish the job, the truth comes out and, as they say, the truth shall set you free.
Remember Maggie? Well, it turns out she bumped into Lucifer while he was casing the Bunker. Not only did he kill her but, again with the power, Jack forces his father to tell the entire truth and one aspect of that hurts more than the others. He admits to enjoying the kill and that, even more than making a deal with Michael, is the final straw. Jack sees Lucifer for who he is: a conniving, desperate, manipulator whose only true love is himself. So it should come as no surprise that, when Jack rejects his father, Lucifer lashes out. But it’s the way he lashes out that is absolutely shocking.
“If I can’t have it with you, I don’t need you. I just need your power.”
Barely more than a dozen words and they hit at the core of Lucifer’s character. Slashing Jack’s throat, he takes in much of his son’s vast power and, by this supercharging, is the apex being in this world. The battered Michael can stand no chance…unless.
In another shocking twist and playing on lore Supernatural established all the way back in Season 5, Dean offers himself up to Michael. He’s the archangel’s perfect vessel. His sword, if you will. Though the odds aren’t quite even, the partnership gives the world a chance. The ensuing fight between the Michael/Dean pairing and Lucifer is, once again, underwhelming but the conclusion is one that will have lasting effects throughout next season. The most jaw-dropping moment has to be when a nearly defeated Dean thrusts the only weapon in creation able to kill an archangel into Lucifer’s chest. It’s a joyous moment for our white hats…but one that doesn’t last. Moments later, Michael reneges in his deal with Dean, taking full control of the elder Winchester before—poof!—disappearing into the world and Sam and the others at a loss.
God only knows what he has planned.
The Good, the Bad, the Supernatural
- Can it be? Is Lucifer really dead? After so many years of skirting in the background, avoiding the fatal blow, the Morningstar…the Prince of Lies is…gone. Last season we lost one of the greatest TV villains when Crowley died. And now Lucifer? Don’t get me wrong—it’s poetic justice on the grandest scale. And yet, to lose such a great character (and actor) is truly heartbreaking.
- “You’re not my father. You’re a monster.” Man, Jack has been through the ringer. Losing his mom, hurting those when he wants to help, and having such a duplicitous old man was bad enough. But to discover just how nasty his father is was even worse. In reality, we often are disabused of the fact that our parents are not perfect. They’re humans, not gods and, in that, are fallible. But to have a father who whispers sweet words only to showcase a most villainous nature…there are no words for such a blow.
- “And now this world is mine. I can save it; purge it of sin.” Another bad guy who believes he’s in the right. Just like Thanos, Michael sees himself as the savior of a world off track. And like Thanos, his idea is to tear much of the structure down instead of using his power to rearrange a teetering structure. If only they allowed him more screen time to express his point of view, he could have been great…
- Finally, what is Michael’s plan now that he’s driving around in the vessel that was made for him? Will he take his time, plan out the strategy for his new world order? Well, either way, we have five months to theorize.
Supernatural: “Let the Good Times Roll”