As far as midseason finales go, “The Spear” seems a little tame. There are great moments with Cas and Jack, plus the return of Garth, but it ultimately fails to capture the tension midseason finales should have. It doesn’t help that the cliffhanger is very similar to how season 13 ended — with Michael possessing Dean.
But first, the most important part of this episode: it’s set in Kansas City! Well, not really, but those establishing shots almost looked like the Country Club Plaza. It’s taken 14 years, but my hometown finally got some recognition on this show (aside: technically, this is the second time Kansas City has been featured on Supernatural, but the first time was when Dean traveled to the future and found an apocalypse and a hippie Cas, so it doesn’t count). Michael’s endgame is happening in Kansas City where he’s got all his powered-up monsters stationed throughout the city, all set to attack and turn people on Michael’s say-so. I’m not sure why this is Michael’s plan, but hey, he’s about to turn my city into the next Underworld, so I’m a little miffed.
Michael’s got two werewolves looking to join the action. One of them is Garth (DJ Qualls), whom we haven’t seen since season 9 when we first learned he’d been turned into a werewolf. But the good news is he’s not about to join Michael’s cause. He’s just playing super awesome and adorable spy for Sam. His plan to fake juice himself up with Michael’s grace doesn’t work, so he’s forced to drink it but he’s still able to warn Sam and Dean about Michael’s plans.
Those plans are a bit convoluted. But I like how the brothers were pulled in three different directions — the egg that can trap angels (I think? I vaguely remember the brothers using this on Lucifer back in season 12) is stuck at a holding facility in Joplin, Missouri, Garth and Michael are in Kansas City, and Kaia and the spear that can kill Michael is in Omaha, Nebraska.
The group splits up, Sam and Jack to Joplin, and Dean and Cas to Omaha. This is where things start to get a little weird. Cas and Dean find Kaia and convince her they need her spear, but there are no minions of Michael appearing out of the shadows. Instead, Sam and Jack are attacked in Joplin, where Michael destroys the egg and kidnaps Jack. It’s all a ploy to get the brothers to come to him. Cas and Dean show up with the spear, which is what Michael needed so he could destroy the spear as he takes over Dean’s body again.
There isn’t a whole lot of build up to Michael repossessing Dean. Something weird was happening to Dean in the previous episode, but it wasn’t enough to fully explain how this is possible. Not only is Michael repossessing Dean a little repetitive, it comes out of nowhere (and not in a good way) and also retcons the lore of how angels possess people on this show. From what I’ve gathered from watching this show religiously for five years, angel possession isn’t like inviting vampires into your house — it’s not a one price for full admission kind of thing. Once an angel is expelled from a person’s body, they have to ask for permission again. Michael says he left a door open to repossess Dean, but also admitted that he left Dean’s body fully. I’m not super impressed by this cliffhanger, but it does account for the little we got to see of the Dean/Michael dynamic early in the season.
Garth involuntarily starts attacking the brothers because of Michael’s grace, but Sam is able to knock him out and put him in the trunk of the Impala. Of course, this is all left up in the air with Dean’s possession, in which Cas, Sam, and Jack are stuck in the corner office of some firm in Kansas City, with Garth in the trunk of the Impala, and Kansas City set to become the backdrop of Michael’s horror fantasy land.
Some Wayward Thoughts:
- Cas makes the point that their lives are rarely happy. A moment of self-awareness for the show and for Cas.
- “The secret password is cookietacular.”
- “You paid extra?”
- What happened to the bustling bunker? There used to be hunters milling around in the background. Unless Sam has them all out on assignments, I’m a little disappointed that didn’t carry through for this first half of the season. The boys could really use some backup right now.
- I love the moment when Dean admits he didn’t realize what Sam and Cas went through when they were possessed by Lucifer. More so his realization about Sam, anyway. There have been times in the show when Dean makes comments about previous actions Sam has taken without any empathy for the context of those decisions. Him admitting this to Cas (unfortunately, not to Sam as well) feels good.
- Jack teaches himself illegal activity from the internet. Love it.
- Always love to be reminded that Jensen Ackles is great at physical comedy, with Dean twirling the spear.