I’m conflicted. And a little angry, because Supernatural did that thing they sometimes do, which is waste opportunities. After much fanfare about Missouri Moseley’s (Loretta Devine) return, the psychic we met back in season one, and whom Sam and Dean only had one encounter with, dies at the first act break of last night’s episode. Though she faces off against a wraith with such badass righteousness (“This would be a lot more fun if you screamed.” “Tough.”) her presence feels awkward, but left with so much more potential that I’m mad she’s dead. Because what little screen time she does get gives us much more background information and story for Missouri than what “Home” did in season one. But then, there’s Patience (Clark Backo), and that’s why I’m conflicted. Really, this episode is a character back story for Patience, Missouri’s granddaughter who has burgeoning psychic abilities herself, before she joins the Supernatural spin-off Wayward Sisters next year. And it’s a pretty decent story, at that.
It all starts with a wraith killing psychics. We haven’t seen a wraith since season five, when one was feeding off patients in a mental hospital, so excuse me if I don’t find them particularly interesting. The psychic angle only makes sense as a convoluted way to bring Missouri back on-screen, but in the end, the wraith-hunting-psychics pairing feels random. After Dede, the cold open victim, dies, Missouri calls the Winchesters for help. There’s some ham-handed dialogue between Missouri and Sam about how long it’s been since they’ve spoken. Sam asks Jody (Kim Rhodes) if she can take the case, which leads to the episode’s first argument between Sam and Dean. It’s short, and I’m going to have to side with Sam on this one. Again, Dean has a tendency to be a hypocrite and his line about how sending Jody on the case might get her killed and it would be Sam’s fault because he wanted to “babysit the antichrist” instead of helping was super unfair. After all, how many times have they called on Jody for help in the past when they were busy with other things? Not to mention, as Sam said, Jody is capable of handling hunts on her own.
It’s a sweet reunion between Missouri and Dean, however, as Missouri acknowledges the losses Dean has suffered. But the reunion doesn’t last long, as Missouri sends Dean and Jody to Georgia to watch after her family while she stays behind to mourn Dede. Instead, the wraith finds her and kills her. And that’s that. Dean and Jody manage to find Patience at her school at the same time she’s being attacked by the wraith. I’m a little confused on the geography here. Missouri said her family was in Georgia, but I thought I heard the news anchor say Missouri and Dede were killed in Omaha. That’s a long distance for the wraith to get there before Dean and Jody, who supposedly left hours before the wraith killed Missouri. Patience learns from Dean and Jody that her grandmother wasn’t such a fake psychic like her father led her to believe and that she too is most likely a psychic. Patience admits to deja vu, even though she had a dream of the wraith attacking her in the school the night before. Patience’s psychic abilities are different than Missouri’s, who channeled her abilities through objects. The third act of this episode–which involves Patience getting kidnapped by the wraith, a little trickery with her visions in which Dean and Jody end up dead, and the actual rescue–is probably the weakest part of this episode.
Back at the bunker, some great emotional turmoil is going down. Sam’s empathy toward Jack is no surprise, but I like the way the show is handling it. It’s slow and contemplative, and it’s not painting Sam as some sort of saint, either. He’s pushing Jack too hard to work on his powers and not completely acknowledging that Jack doesn’t want to work on them, especially when Sam sits there staring at him. But when Jack tells this to Sam, Sam realizes his mistake and tells Jack to take his time. Jack asks Sam why he’s being nice to him when Dean isn’t and Sam tells him he’s been through something similar. At first, I thought it weird Sam was speaking about his demon blood drinking in such vague terms — with the issues Jack is facing right now, specificity will probably go much further. However, maybe it’s not something Jack needs to hear, but rather something Dean needs to be reminded of instead. Which brings us to Dean and Sam’s second argument of the episode, this one much louder, angrier, and hurtful. Sam bluntly reminds Dean of when Sam was considered “evil,” by heaven, hell, and their own father. Even then, Dean didn’t put a bullet in Sam. So why should Dean put one in Jack?
As much as I tire of Sam and Dean fighting each other over right and wrong, these arguments almost feel a long time coming, which makes them more meaningful, in a way. On one hand, they’re arguing over exterior threats. On the other, when Sam brings it back around to him, the fight becomes interior. Personal. And it brings up something that I never really felt the brothers ever resolved. Sure, Sam sacrificing himself by jumping into the cage with Lucifer in tow definitely makes up for him being the one to release Lucifer in the first place. But that’s more on a cosmic scale. Did the brothers ever resolve the lying, name-calling, and the hypocrisy that occurred during seasons four and five? I never really thought so. There have been times throughout the seasons since then where Dean brings up Sam’s mistakes for no particular reason, with a tone of bitterness and disgust. For example, the end of season eight when Sam has to purge his sins before he can begin the ritual to cure Crowley, Dean reminds him to not forget about Ruby when doing so. All of this may seem trite this far down the line, but I can’t help but think this is the perfect time for these issues to be resurfacing, with Jack the son of Lucifer struggling with his own personal demons, and Sam the one person to survive being possessed by Lucifer as his guide.
But that argument doesn’t get resolved at the end of this episode, because something much more interesting happens. Jack listens to the brothers arguing about him, and at one point Dean brings up how it’s Jack’s fault Cas is dead because he somehow managed to brainwash Cas from Kelly’s womb (it’s sentences like that one I sometimes question how this show has gone on for so long), and instead of angsting about how he might have killed his father figure, Jack’s eyes start glowing. The scene shifts to Castiel, lying dead, surrounding by darkness. But he wakes up, supposedly because Jack is somehow calling to him, and stands, confused. As are we all.
This Week’s Wayward Thoughts
- There’s a great scene of Jack watching a video message from Kelly, telling him he has a choice as to who he wants to be. It’s very touching, and a wonderful moment for Kelly.
- At one point, Sam is reading a book called The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self. It’s by psychologist Alice Miller, and it’s meaning is a bit more profound than say, a kid being gifted because he’s a nephilim. But it’s cool little Easter egg.
- Patience is told by her father she should forget her psychic abilities so they can move on. Dean seconds that, explaining the hunter life is no life, his usual tune. But Jody has the more sensible answer — Patience should choose for herself, and leaves Patience with her card, the set up for the two coming back together for Wayward Sisters.
- The place Cas wakes up in is interesting. It’s reminds me a little of the scenes in Stranger Things when Eleven would be submerged in the water tank and open her eyes in the pitch black landscape of the Upside Down. It definitely has more of an atmospheric feel to it, much more so than places like purgatory, heaven or hell ever had on this show. Cas’ return also doesn’t seem like it will be nonchalant as resurrections sometimes are on this show. There’s a story brewing here.
- Slightly disappointing that Missouri doesn’t get a scene with Sam at all, but there’s not much to be done about it.
- Clark Backo does fantastic in her first appearance in Supernatural world. She had plenty of story to work with, but surrounded by the other drama of the show and time constraints, I’m sure Wayward Sisters will give her more room to grow. But “Patience” is a nice foundation to start.
Questions, thoughts, comments, concerns, leave them in the comment section below! Supernatural airs Thursdays 8/7 c on The CW. Carry on.