The penultimate episode of the season, and it was an ensemble affair as characters past and present, from our Sam and Dean’s world and the alternate realm, banded together to escape Michael’s wrath.
Following on from Sam’s resurrection and appearance at the outpost, with Lucifer at his shoulder, we had a brief moment of brotherly love, as Sam apologised for bringing the devil into the camp, and Dean assured him he had nothing to be sorry for. It’s been so long since we got a hug between these two and, although Sam was dead for barely five minutes, it was much needed. Of course, with Lucifer being a silver-tongued son of a gun and Jack being an ‘adopted’ kid, it wasn’t long before father and son were shooting the shiz, and generally warming to one another, despite literally everyone else’s misgivings. To be fair, Lucifer had a point about being locked in the cage by his so-called benevolent God, and Gabriel’s impassioned version of events was lovely but a tad odd coming from the guy that drove Sam Winchester mad with grief by killing his brother in countless, inventive ways for laughs.
Meanwhile, Mary had made the decision to stay in the Apocalypse World where she was leading the resistance, which – needless to say – went down like a knackered lift with Dean. Sam came up with a plan to take the camp back to the ‘real’ world, meaning none of their mother’s new-found comrades would be left behind, but it would buy them time to plot how best to take out Michael. Of course, the small matter of getting an additional twenty-five bodies through the rift in a short space of time was perturbing, but nothing a certain Scottish witch couldn’t handle.
“Exodus” also saw the return of Charlie and Ketch, who embarked on a mission to ambush a kill squad of angels, but ended up being ambushed themselves. I must admit, Ketch being interrogated was a highlight of this episode for me. I love his sociopathic tendencies and his penchant for wordplay, even as he’s being tortured. There was definitely a frisson between Dean and Ketch when Dean came to his rescue as well. There have been numerous occasions where mortal enemies have formed uneasy but lasting alliances in Supernatural, and the Dean/Ketch relationship is one of the more intriguing ones. Given Ketch’s treatment of Mary, you’d expect that Ketch would be dead meat in Dean’s book, and yet there’s an undeniable rapport there…
I wasn’t sure what to make of Alt-Cas. I’m always pleased for Misha Collins when he has a bit more to do, but I found it hard to take Gestapo Castiel seriously. From the dodgy accent to the milky eye, everything about this version of the angel was too cliche to be menacing. It would have been interesting to get some back story for this character as all the alternate ‘good guys’ seem to be pretty much carbon copies of their regular Earth selves, so while it was refreshing to see an ‘alt’ that broke the mould, Cas 2.0 seemed less than rounded and fairly disposable. I would have liked to see Alt!Cas and Ketch really give each other Hell – but I guess that’s an HBO show in a parallel universe…
The episode’s denouement did give me pause for thought. It was fun to see Rowena welcome the various unexpected guests through the portal she’d been keeping open with great effort, but Lucifer’s treatment produced mixed feelings in me. While any Supernatural viewer worth their salt knows the devil is responsible for the intolerable suffering of Sam Winchester and, therefore, beyond redemption, his tears while Gabriel berated him, and his hesitancy to make a pact with Michael – even though he’d no other choice – made my heart ache a little bit.
So, we head into the finale with an army of new warriors and old in the bunker, friends and former foes, preparing for war with Michael. The last time the Archangel Michael was instrumental in the end times, he and Lucifer were at war but, this time, they might just be on the same side – albeit grudgingly. It remains to be seen whether the end of this particular war is nigh, or whether it will rage for another season, and who will stand with the Winchesters this time around.
Final Grade: C+
+ It’s good to see Lucifer – a character we’ve seen in many lights over the years – through the eyes of Jack who not only has familial obligations to the devil, but can view him with young, fresh, innocent eyes.
+ The first bro-hug of the season was long awaited and so, so sweet.
+ Ketch using Monopoly destinations while being gruesomely beaten was awesome – if suspect in his use of AMERICAN places! Also Dean giving Cas interrogation instruction with just slow blinks was incredibly…efficient. Heh.
– I’m so confused as to why most alt versions of people are like themselves, then Cas – well actually it would be Jimmy Novak – is just a Nazi!
– Gabriel’s fate seemed bizarre given that he’s just come back from several years’ absence. Quick redemption arc then death for a complex character is a lazy way to manipulate audience feelings.
– I don’t understand Mary Winchester. How can she STILL be so blind when it comes to upsetting her sons?!
Extra Thought: What will become of Heaven now that Gabe is gone?
So what did you think? Did you have sympathy for the devil? Sound off in the comments or over on Twitter!