From the very start of “The Trap, Sam’s in a bad beat. Not only are he and Eileen trussed up — an ominous prospect no matter the adversary — but when God’s the architect beyond your capture, you are truly screwed. Reminding viewers (and Sam) that he’s, well, God, Chuck admits to orchestrating the entirety of Eileen’s arc; using her as his eyes inside the Winchester inner circle, nothing more than a pawn. The biggest issue for Chuck is the wound he shares with Sam, one that no amount of whisking away can solve. Chuck figures out that Sam’s refusal to give up on the hope of taking Chuck down that prevents him from healing the wound. Thus, the only way for Chuck to regain his full power is by disabusing Sam of even the smallest hopes of victory and, as they say, everyone can be broken; all it takes is the right tool. And what better (and more effective) tool is there than Chuck himself?
“You still think you’re the hero of this story. You still think you can win.”
In a dour sort of It’s a Wonderful Life peek into the future, Chuck allows Sam to see what would happen if the Creator is taken off the board. TL;DR, darkness prevails and the monsters win. Based on what we know of the Supernatural world, it makes sense. Consider that, were it not for Chuck’s intervention, the Winchesters would have been dead years ago and, with that, a lot of people they saved. It’s a crappy part of the reality but one that really ties their hands.
This all comes to a head when Cas and Dean come to the rescue, with the angel ready to take the Mark (yes, that Mark) and battle it out with Chuck. But Sam has seen what’s to come and knows Castiel taking on the Mark is like a clarion call for the inevitable. Sam’s rejection of moving forward with the plan allows Chuck to get out of town but, knowing the Creator’s desire to be front and center when the crap hits the fan, it’s only a matter of time before he returns.
Sam’s visions of the future were a sobering reality, but the heart and soul of “The Trap” unequivocally lies with Castiel and Dean finally pushing away the remnants of anger between them to move forward. When Cas is taken by Leviathan at Eve’s behest in Purgatory, Dean realizes that he may have seen the last of his best friend. Terrified of how they left things, Dean calls out to Castiel in a prayer that lays Dean bare in one of his greatest moments of vulnerability. “I don’t know why I get so angry,” he says at one point with tears in his eyes before continuing, “when things go bad, it just comes out… and I can’t stop it”. As powerful as this is on paper, Jensen Ackles brings it to life with an emotionally moving performance that trumps his earlier scene (from the future) with Sam where he’s given up the idea of ever winning the fight against evil. Misha Collins and Jared Padalecki are good in their own right, but Ackles has a way of taking things to another level which makes scenes like this so very memorable.
Even with Cas and Dean’s success, the idea that taking down the Creator is such a short-sighted play. Maybe it’s the confidence in victories against Lucifer, Lilith, demons of all sorts and, hell, even Death that has instilled within the Winchesters the idea that every battle can be won. But to think that if they were to take God out of the picture that there would be no repercussions for the world itself is a staggering oversight. Though Dean believes they will be able to find another way and not give in to Chuck’s tragic storybook ending, the truth is, the biggest boon is that they have each other and, whether they are Sam and Dean Winchester or Sam and Dean, vampires, these brothers (Cas included) will go down the only way they know how: swinging. Just like Butch and Sundance.
The Good, the Bad, the Supernatural
- Though it’s not a surprise that Eileen’s taking a leave of absence from Sam’s side, I’m not wholly satisfied by her reasoning. Maybe it’s a bit of her self-preservation kicking in after being used like a marionette by God, it’s still disappointing to see her leave just as she and Sam were on the verge of forming something real. I’m all but positive she’ll be back sometime down the road and maybe then she and Sam can continue with what’s formed between them…or maybe she’ll be another casualty of the endless war against the dark.
- Watching Sam experience the various states of a future without God was fascinating and yet extremely sad. Even if it doesn’t happen, seeing Sam and Dean as vampires (Dean even kills Jodie!) was a reminder of the dangers they face every night they go out to fight monsters. As mentioned above, their fate has been helped along on multiple occasions by Chuck’s will. And speaking of Chuck, him busting out the truth that those visions of Sam and Dean killing each other were memories of other Earths was extremely sobering. As much as I love these guys and will cheer them on to the end, they are going against the One Above All: God himself. Chuck mentions how these other iterations of the Winchesters never thought they’d kill one another but they all did. How can you fight that? It’s like a pebble trying to swim against the ocean tide.
- “It’s time”, two words that Billie (or Death) speaks to Jack as he stands alone in the Empty. What does that mean and will the two of them play a role in the upcoming fight against Chuck?
Supernatural – “The Trap”
8.25 out of 10