Supernatural 13×09 Review: “The Bad Place”

It’s been awhile since I’ve truly been excited about a Supernatural episode and what’s to come. This week’s mid-season finale, “The Bad Place,” puts season thirteen in a whole new ballpark despite a rough journey to get to this point. The stakes feel much more significant, and the characters involved are ones I’m interested in seeing more of. Plus, it does look like there are multiple universes, so I’m just going to get this out of the way real fast — I totally called it.

Multiple universes isn’t the only new lore introduced in this episode, though. A supernatural ability known as dreamwalking becomes Jack’s new way of finding the apocalypse world that Mary is trapped in. He’s able to track down Derek, a painter whose work depicts the many worlds he dreamwalks through. Jack is able to find the apocalypse world, but Derek isn’t strong enough to hold the connection. Instead, he goes to Kaia Nieves, a much stronger dreamwalker, but someone who isn’t in control of her powers. However, Derek ends up dead, and all signs point to Jack as his murderer. Sam and Dean get called to the case by Jody and are confronted by the possibility they’ll have to kill Jack sooner than they thought. But they aren’t explicit about it. In fact, they seem to be willing to learn more about what happened, not quite wanting to jump to Jack killing Derek on purpose. For Sam to think this makes sense — he’s been on Jack’s side this entire season. Dean, on the other hand, finally has evidence of what he’s said Jack was capable of all along. Instead of immediately saying they need to hunt Jack, he’s willing to dig deeper into what actually happened, even going so far as to say “I like the kid” and “this isn’t an I told you so” and sound sincere about it.

Then we meet Kaia, played by Yadira Guevara-Prip. Kaia’s powers are so strong that she’s turned to drugs to keep them at bay. Jack breaks her out of the psychiatric hospital she’s in, but before they make their escape, Sam and Dean catch up. Kaia definitely wants nothing to do with any of them and hitchhikes a ride with a couple of angels, who then kidnapped her. Sam and Dean realize it wasn’t Jack who killed Derek, but the angels hunting Jack. The emotional stakes here are some of the best we’ve seen so far, especially from Jack, who hasn’t, in fact, turned evil all of a sudden like the episode hinted at. He’s genuinely trying to help Sam and Dean by trying to find Mary in the apocalypse world. It’s a touching scene, and even though Jack’s been missing for one episode, it made me realize how much I missed him.

Meanwhile, Patience Turner (Clark Backo) is still having visions, although her overbearing dad is unaware. He’s still dead set on her getting into Ivy league schools and not being involved in the supernatural business. But Dean’s called her eight times for help, and after another vision that shows everyone dying, Patience decides she needs to step in. By the end of the episode, she shows up at Jody’s door to warn her something’s coming.

Even though Dean is kosher with Jack, he does cross a line this episode. After rescuing Kaia from the angels, Sam and Dean explain why they need her help to save their mom. Kaia’s adamant about not helping, and she’s got a good reason — every time she dreamwalks, the dangers she comes across in the other world she visits every time, called the bad place, affect her in real life. She’s got scars on her arms from various monsters that exist elsewhere and I don’t blame her for opting out. Dean, however, confronted with the reality that his mom is alive and he’s done nothing to save her for months, becomes desperate. He draws his gun on Kaia and threatens her to get in the car. Jack and Sam look uncomfortable with the turn of events, but get in the car as well. During the car ride, Jack shows Kaia that controlling her powers is possible, and there are other worlds she can visit because he saw them when he dreamwalked with Derek. For five seconds, he shows these possibilities to Kaia, who’s overwhelmed with the images enough to help them out in the end. Still, Dean’s actions will have consequences down the line. If they don’t, I’ll be disappointed–and only because it creates an interesting dynamic between Dean and Kaia, and most likely Sam and Dean, the former of which looked horrified by his brother’s actions.

The angels return with more numbers, wanting to take Jack “home” so they can create more angels. They corner Sam, Dean, Jack, and Kaia onto a marina, but not before Sam is able to ward it. As the group is trying to decide what to do, the angels begin breaking the wards. Not with just a wave a of the hand though, but with a coordinated pounding of the ground that is a lot more of a visually interesting supernatural attack than we’ve had in awhile. Running out of time, Kaia says they can escape into a different world. Jack helps her find the apocalypse world so they can get Mary, but the pressure of the bad place keeps interfering with Kaia’s connection of the apocalypse world, resulting in her powers going wonky. The angels disappear, as well as Sam, Dean, and Jack. Because of Kaia’s loose grip on her powers right at the end, they all end up in different places. Kaia is sprawled on the side of a road in what looks like the normal world, while Jack wakes up in the apocalypse world in the room Mary’s being tortured. Sam and Dean’s situation seems the most dire, though, as they wake up in what looks like Kaia’s “bad place,” standing in the middle of a giant footprint. Honestly, this is one cool ending to an episode, and to the first half of this season. For awhile, it didn’t seem season thirteen had the energy to get here, but I’m glad they did.

This week’s Wayward Thoughts:

Questions, comments, concerns, leave in the comment section below. Please debate with me on what the creature is that left a giant footprint in the ground. All I can think of is a giant peacock for some reason.


Supernatural returns Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 8/7c on The CW with “Wayward Sisters.” Carry on.


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