Well, here we are at the final seven-episode stretch of Supernatural. It’s been quite a journey and, after a brief COVID-19-related hiatus, the beginning of the end started with a bottle episode. “Last Holiday” makes the timeline a bit confusing as Sam, Dean, and Jack celebrate multiple birthdays and holidays, but it’s a nice reminder to enjoy the little things before the end of days.
The episode takes place solely in the bunker. As pipes stop working, Sam and Dean attempt to do some home plumbing, putting the bunker into standby mode. This unintentionally leads to releasing a wood nymph named Mrs. Butters, a warm grandmother type supernatural creature that used to take care of the Men of Letters members in the 1950s. Sam and Dean quickly take advantage of her willingness to dote on them, only occasionally dipping into patriarchal levels. With Mrs. Butters’ magic operating the bunker to its full capacity, hunting monsters has never been so easy.
It really does feel like a holiday. And like Dean says to Sam at the beginning of the episode, they deserve a break. It’s also a nice nod to the privileged Alternate Sam and Dean from “Destiny’s Child,” who flew on jets and got paid for their hunting. Of course, sometimes monsters come in the nicest packages, and Mrs. Butters has a problem with Jack.
Ever since Jack appeared on the show, there’s always been a question about his nature — is he inherently evil because of who his father is? The show tends to go back and forth on this (and not very consistently). However, with his soul restored, Jack is experiencing every feeling of guilt he has, especially for what he did to Mary. Mrs. Butters, taking her job to protect members of the Men of Letters too far, tries to kill Jack with kindness once she learns he’s Lucifer’s son.
At the end of “Destiny’s Child,” Jack asked Sam and Dean for forgiveness. That question hangs in the air throughout “Last Holiday.” Sam has pretty much forgiven him, most likely because he understands what it’s like to handle that much guilt, although I wish we got to see them connect on that. Dean is the tough sell, leading to a nice moment where Dean admits that he’s trying to forgive Jack. Dean’s been moving toward a more progressive stance on supernatural creatures for years at this point, but this scene really doubles down on that. That scene could be read as a shut down of Jack, that Dean’s tried to forgive him and can’t, but the way Jensen Ackles plays it, it’s clear that Dean will keep trying, because that’s what you do for family.
Megan Fay is really quite magical throughout this episode. Even if you’re not familiar with wood nymphs as mythical creatures, you can easily see the almost fairy-like nature of them in Fay’s performance, especially when she borders on creepy.
Ultimately, Mrs. Butters steps down from her plan to kill Jack, eventually recognizing a kindred spirit. Dean also convinces her to back off by saying Jack can save the world, but that’s a bit I’m not a huge fan of, as it boils down a person’s worthiness to what they can offer. Regardless, this bottle episode ends with no blood shed, except for Sam’s fingernails (which is an oddly specific thing that’s happened to Sam twice on this show now), and Mrs. Butters goes back to her forest.
Some Wayward Thoughts:
Sam is still dating Eileen. Love this confirmation, even though Shoshannah Stern doesn’t make an appearance.
I’ll say it — I did not have a problem with Mrs. Butters ripping the head off a Nazi. Though I suspect Jack was unsettled by the level of brutality, and perhaps saw himself in it.
Sam wields Thor’s hammer in a quick blink-and-you’ll-miss it scene, a callback to Seasons 8 and 9.
Mrs. Butters is a cool bit of retcon inside of a retcon — Men of Letters and the bunker was a huge show shift in the middle of season eight, and Mrs. Butters and her magic explains why the bunker had been in such good shape when Sam and Dean first stumbled upon it. Glad to finally get an explanation about the giant telescope, even if it only confirms what we already know about other worlds dying.
Honestly, just really confused on whether they actually celebrated Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Sam’s birthday or if they just celebrated them randomly as a way to “catch up” on holidays they’ve missed. Very confusing, and very out of order.
IMDb currently has the episode titles listed all the way to the end. In order: “Gimme Shelter,” “Drag Me Away (From You),” “Unity, Despair,” “Inherit the Earth,” and “Carry On” (this one should have been obvious but it makes me feel things all the same).
“He’s a Millennial! Don’t let that throw you, he’s a good kid.”
“Ignoring your trauma doesn’t make you healthy.”
Six more episodes to go…