Not much is solved in “Unhuman Nature,” but it’s still a decent story of making the small moments count. Jack’s lack of grace is causing his illness and instead of lying around in a hospital or the bunker for a cure, he convinces Dean to take him out for the day so he can experience a bunch of “firsts.” The result is more of a contemplation on the little things in life, which is a pretty typical stance to take, and the writers could have done a bit more with the idea.
This episode is definitely more about Dean and Jack, with Sam, Cas, and Rowena staying in the background more often than not. It’s a little unfortunate, as Jack has a great relationship with both Sam and Cas, and there isn’t a whole lot of time given to nurture these bonds as Jack is dying. It does, however, give Dean and Jack a chance to reconcile since the two have always been at odds with each other. Dean teaches Jack to drive the Impala and I couldn’t help but think that this is something Dean taught Sam once upon a time as well. It’s probably one of the better moments of the episode, as rock music plays over Jack’s pure joy of driving on the open road. For Dean, it’s great to see him a bit more carefree, too. They eat fast food and Jack says there’s one thing he wants to make sure he does today: fishing. An odd choice, but it’s something Jack remembers Dean mentioning John used to do back in the day, taking Dean and Sam on fishing trips.
Meanwhile, Sam and Cas have tracked down a Shaman who might know a thing or two about restoring a nephilim’s grace. Cas goes to meet the Shaman, Sergio, who just so happens to have a bit of Gabriel’s grace stashed away as payment for when Gabriel originally went into hiding. Lucky, or just a retcon. Sergio makes sure Cas understands he’ll owe him a favor down the line for this, so we haven’t seen the last of him.
If anything, this episode suffers a little from the lack of action from Cas’ part of the story. The Jack and Dean side of things is all well and good, but Sam barely has anything to do here and Cas’ trip to the Shaman is over and done with pretty fast. Rowena returns for the first time this season, but is only around to provide the spell work. Last week’s “Optimism” did a much better job of juggling it’s A and B plots, allowing one to be more action heavy so the other one can be contemplative, but “Unhuman Nature” seems to take it a little too far in both directions so that there’s very little of anything happening with Sam and Cas and just a little more happening with Dean and Jack.
To top it all off, Dean, Cas, and Sam don’t learn anything about Jack’s illness beyond the fact he needs his powers and grace restored. It ends with Rowena telling the boys Jack’s going to die, which we already had an idea of at the beginning of the episode. The intention of this episode is certainly commendable, but it doesn’t dig deep enough.
There is an entire plot thread with Nick, but I’m honestly not into it. As an example of what could happen to someone who’s possessed by Lucifer for years on end, it’s an interesting study, but not something I’m particularly enjoying watching. We’re watching someone investigate a murder that happened off screen that affected a character we met for a total of 10 minutes back in season five. It hasn’t proven yet that it’s anything worth putting time into beyond Mark Pellegrino’s performance. It does reveal a name, something like Braxsus or Obraxsus, demon in origin, someone Nick seems to think is familiar, probably through Lucifer’s memories. It also ends with Nick praying to Lucifer to come back and ends on what looks like The Big Empty (a welcome return, as that was hardly explored last year) and what is presumably Lucifer awakening. While visually cool, shouldn’t it be time to put the Lucifer story to rest?
This Week’s Wayward Thoughts:
- “He was stabbed through the heart and he exploded.”
- Did Rowena honestly never know that Jack was Lucifer’s son?
- “You saved all of us from Apocalypse World.” Since when did it start being called that in-show? It’s like the angels referring to their communications with each other as Angel Radio.
- Ketch is still around?
- “It’s like I’m you!”
- “Who would have thought hanging out with me would make you sentimental?”
- “With porn stars, yes I know the story.”
- I know Nick is contending with some demons, but you’d think he’d understand about being possessed and not being responsible for what happens.
- There’s something weird going on with Dean. A couple of times, his vision seemed to go blurry. Is it something to do with Michael? Some theories seem to think Nick is an example of what could happen to Dean, but I don’t think so. Nick was possessed by Lucifer for years, and wasn’t even the correct vessel for him anyway. Dean was possessed for a weeks, was the right vessel, and hasn’t shown any evidence of psycho behavior.
Any thoughts, questions or concerns, put them in the comment section below! See ya next week!