supernatual galaxy brain
The CW

Chuck clears the table of distractions as Sam and Dean race to save Kaia from the Bad Place in the ‘Supernatural’ spring premiere, “Galaxy Brain”.

After being gone for ages —technically just six weeks but, considering all that’s happened in the world since then, it seems longer —Supernatural returned this week and wasted no time throwing us back into the fray of the Winchester Gang planning their next steps in the versus God challenge now that Jack has returned to the fold. But in focusing on the main story, an unexpected side quest arrives when Dark Kaia (Yadira Guevara-Prip, See, Stark Trek; Discovery) returns, kidnapping Jody (Kim Rhodes, Colony, Criminal Minds) and demanding Sam and Dean make do on their promise to get her back to her home; The Bad Place.

Though he’s still on Team Winchester, I’m still uncertain as to how much of the old Jack remains inside this new soulless model. (Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW)

It’s been more than a year since we’ve seen Dark Kaia, and even longer since the original Kaia —thought to be dead after a skewering from her darker half (season 13’s “Wayward Sisters”) — but both make their appearance in “Galaxy Brain”. The connection the dream walking doppelgangers share is paramount as Dark Kaia senses the slow, inexorable destruction of her world taking place. Team Winchester surmises that it’s Chuck’s doing and they’re right.

In fact, the episode begins with the Exalted One popping into a Radio Shed (!) on Earth-2 (!!) and taking the stage to monologue about where it all went wrong for him. Despite the successes of hundreds of worlds and hundreds of Sam and Deans, our Supernatural duo vexes the Creator to the point where, like a parent, he feels joy, frustration, disappointment, and an emotional investment in Sam and Dean that even surprises him. Therefore, it should be no surprise that, channeling the series’ penchant for meta, Chuck decides that, to better focus on this version of Sam and Dean, “it’s time to start canceling shows”. Thus begins Chuck’s purge of all his other creations.

Whereas Chuck sparks his own Infinite Crisis, Sam and Dean work on a way to rescue Kaia without forcing Jack to use his power (which would alert Chuck to the Nephilim’s presence); but Jack ultimately steps up to the plate. Despite his lack of a soul (and being put on ice for months in the Empty), the Nephilim seems to have retained some of his empathy, understanding Sam and Dean’s guilt (as well as Dark Kaia’s) on leaving Kaia alone in a hellish landscape of monsters. He’s able to convince the guys and, by proxy, his Reaper “handler” Merle (Sandra Ferens, The Arrangement, Witches of East End), to work together for the trip to the Bad Place. They get the job done but upon their return, Merle is given a metaphysical pink slip (or a scythe to the back) courtesy of Death Herself, Billie (Lisa Berry, Shadowhunters, Slasher).

I’m hard-pressed to believe in Billie’s altruism but Sam, Dean, and co have no other option at the moment but to side with Death. (Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW)

Since Jack’s return and the news that Billie had a plan to take Chuck down, I’ve been wondering the same as our protagonists; namely, what the hell is Death’s ultimate goal? Considering she sees “the big picture” and that humans are specks of dust in a vast desert of existence, it’s not out of the goodness of her Death-toting heart. Plus, considering how she goes on about the harmony God needed during Creation (which ultimately led to his single weakness), it stands to reason that killing God would wreck that universal balance. It makes sense, especially if we think about how Chuck never tried destroying Amara and instead, went for imprisoning her. With their backs against the wall though, and Chuck on the horizon, Team Winchester feels as if they have no other alternative than to go with Death’s plan. That could spell trouble for existence because, with Billie keeping her motivations under wraps, the phrase “the devil’s in the details” really creeps into the season’s narrative.

With only eight episodes remaining, “Galaxy Brain” is a nice jumpstart to the final two months of Supernatural. Though we lose Dark Kaia to her world’s End (something that reminded me of the Nothing’s advance from A Neverending Story), we’re re-gifted Kaia. More than that, Billie offers our White Hats at least a morsel of why this plan will work. Yet there’s so much to be revealed and, even as I’m a lover of the Supernatural mythos, the idea that God can die (as first revealed by the original Death all the way back in Season Five’s “Two Minutes to Midnight”) is an incomprehensible idea.

Even in that though, “Galaxy Brain” narrows the world’s focus even as it expands it, and Team Winchester still has a long road to hoe before they (and Billie) take on the Creator of Existence. We’ll need to really prepare for the end because, as a great Spartan king once said,  “we’re in for one wild ride”.


The Good, The Bad, The Supernatural

  • I think it’s official: all the CW shows are connected! What with Chuck snapping away the myriad of worlds out there (like the Anti-Monitor in Crisis on Infinite Earths) and the Impala’s appearance in Legends of Tomorrow, it sure as heck seems as if there’s at least a tangential relationship to it all. And that’s not even considering Teen Titans’ latest issue bringing Supernatural into its lore. Maybe it’s a way for the series to live on in more than just our hearts and minds, but whatever the reason, it’s fun Easter Eggs like this that help make trying times of reality just a bit more bearable.
  • As someone who always thought Kaia’s death was premature (though her resurrection may have been a planned plot point in the nixed Wayward Sisters spinoff) it was good to see her return to the show. This all but guarantees we’ll be seeing Claire back on screen soon enough. As one of my favorite supporting characters still alive and kicking, I’m sure she’ll be on the front line when that final showdown arrives.
  • Though I’m a fan of Billie’s new role as Death, she lacks the cold distance and superiority I’d expect from such an entity. However, she makes up for that with a sinister clandestineness that reinforces the idea that she’s a dozen steps ahead of our protagonists. There’s no doubting her ulterior motives and, considering she’s so long been about the rules, I have to wonder what she’s seen in God’s book that makes her believe that killing God now is the right choice…