“This life may be a lot of things, but it’s rarely happy.”
Fourteen seasons in and Supernatural continues to find a way to shake things up. After inexplicably letting Dean go from his control, Michael chose another host and continued on with his plans to take over this world. Always one step behind, Team Winchester taps hunter Garth to infiltrate Michael’s inner circle as they track down weapons that will be able to permanently take down the archangel. There’s just one teeny, tiny problem… Michael’s been two steps ahead of them the entire time.
Indulging in his own sense of nostalgia, Michael — now in the body of a woman — selects Kansas City as ground zero for his Reckoning of Humanity (or the Takeover). His plan is sound: have a legion of his monsters juiced up on angel Grace out in the city awaiting his word to strike. That strike would transform an entire city of people into his conscripts and Michael would have his army. He knows it’s not that simple especially with the Winchesters on his tail and thus showcases crafty planning befitting a good villain. Not only does he use Garth as his own part of the Winchesters’ plan, but he takes advantage of the Trojan horse he left ready months ago when he first left Dean.
“When I gave up Dean, you didn’t think to question it, to ask why?”
There was always the question of why would Michael let go of his most compatible host without a fight. After forcing Team Winchester’s hand, Michael springs his trap. Held at spear-point by a determined Dean, the archangel flees his current host and jumps right back into Dean’s body. After snapping the Spear in two, Michael admits to his previous issues with Dean; the elder Winchester was quite the troublesome host. Allowing Dean to regain himself and commit to the fight against Michael, even to gain the upper hand only to have it cruelly taken back is what Michael needed to crush Dean’s will into submission. It’s a masterstroke, one that elevates Michael from being just a dick-ish angel with a helluva lot of juice to an even more interesting villain. The fact that Jensen Ackles is able to showcase more of his bad side is a bonus.
As well as a forty-minute show can, “The Spear” channels some of the primary elements that make an entertaining heist film as the Winchesters split up to go after two potential McGuffins with the ability to incapacitate or kill Michael. Our band of protagonists though failing on one end, seemingly get the advantage on another, only to have it wiped away thanks to superior tactics by their adversary. And then Michael — in his best impression of Thanos — executes his will with a snap of his fingers.
- Michael is such an interesting character. Harboring some of the charms of his brother Lucifer but without the daddy issues. As an antagonist, he is a charismatic but calm individual. Christian Keyes provided an exceptional voice for the character last season and, in her abbreviated role in “The Spear”, Felisha Terrell does the same. Her conversation with Jack, the casual way she reminds the Nephilim that, as much as he may believe otherwise, they are more alike than he wants to admit, was the strongest scene in the episode and also provides a reminder to viewers that, while he may be powerless now, Jack will regain his mojo and those powers, Winchesters’ influence or not, will set him apart from humanity.
- It’s so good to see Jensen back in the role of Michael. My lament earlier this season was that we just didn’t get enough of him in that character but, at the end of “The Spear” his brief appearance as the archangel was a reminder to just how talented he is. He, like Keyes and Terrell, are captivating as Michael but, with Ackles, there’s that familiarity the other two do not have. My hopes are to see Michael driving Dean’s skin around for at least two or three episodes just to revel in the Dean-is-the-Bady-guy dynamic just a little bit longer.
- Aside from the speed of the narrative that, in places, felt rushed, the fight scenes in “The Spear” were nothing special. Also, the ease at which Sam got the drop on the monsters when tracking down Michael (though the same could be said for their ambush of him) was a bit sloppy.
- Though the deal they made with Dark Kaia to use her spear was a good one, the more effective tactic would have been to have her wield it against Michael. The Winchesters may be exceptional melee fighters but, in Dark Kaia’s hands, the spear would have been much more effective.
- It’s always good to see old characters come back and DJ Qualls’ return to Supernatural as the hunter/werewolf Garth was a welcome treat. Now that he’s filled with Michael’s Grace, he’s a liability. How Cas, Jack, and Sam will handle their friend’s current condition is still up in the air.
- With Dark Kaia’s spear now gone, where does that leave her? Will she join in the fight now or stay at the fringes, away from Michael now that her primary defense is gone?