“Supernatural” returned for its 13th season on October 12th. The epic series ended last season with several losses, including the deaths of a few characers, and the birth of Lucifer’s nephilim child.
“Supernatural” knows what works and goes with it. The episode resumed where the previous season left off, without any interruption in the action. Sam finds Lucifer’s son, Jack, soon after his “birth,” only Jack isn’t a baby, he’s a teenager. His only response upon seeing Sam before him is, “Father.” Sam attempts to pacify the nephilim and talk with him. This is immediately ruined by Dean’s shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later stance. Dean storms in, sees the golden-eyed nephilim staring at his brother, and immediately fires a shot.
Showing off his awesome powers, Jack screams. I know that sounds underwhelming, but really, this was a distorted scream of an unearthly monstrosity. Golden auras and rings echo over them as the sound distorts in the room. The windows shatter and the heroes are suspended in midair by Jack’s nephilim abilities. They’re thrown to the ground and knocked out while a very naked Jack escapes.
Jack, still naked, finds himself at a fast food restaurant, where he is found by the sheriff and taken to the police station.
Dean relives his mother’s sacrifice in a nightmare, but sees her burning alive as she did in the first season, before waking with a jolt.
The Winchester brothers follow the trail to the fast food restaurant where they encounter a drunk young woman. While the Winchesters look for Jack, who’s being interviewed by the Sheriff, two obviously-evil angels loom over Castiel’s lifeless body. One comments that Castiel deserved better, and the other disagrees. This same rather rude angel also states that he doesn’t care about “the broodmare,” referring to Kelly, the woman who gave birth to Jack. At this point, the audience knows this sexist jerk is clearly not on our side and is probably wishing for a very painful and emasculating death.
Jack stumbles through the world in a way that is reminiscent of Castiel. The young nephilim is ignorant of the world, and its slang terms. For instance, the Sheriff’s son asks, “what are you on?” and Jack dumbly stares, before answering, “a chair.” All seems well with Jack, other than his unusual fingerprints, and his strange ability to manipulate electricity, and get free candy from the vending machine, until Angel Radio begins. Jack panics and his powers take hold. Sam and Dean arrive in time to stun him with a taser.
While Dean gives the “we hunt monsters” talk to Sheriff Barker, Sam sits with Jack in his cell, calming him and getting information. Jack says he knows his mother is dead, but his father should be here, to protect him. When Sam starts telling Jack that Lucifer is evil, Jack’s reply drops the biggest twist of the entire nephilim plot line: “Lucifer? That is not my father’s name. His name is Castiel.” Jack goes on to say that he could not be born an infant or a child. He claims he had to be a teenager because his mother told him the world was dangerous, but Castiel promised to protect him. So, since Castiel said he would protect him, Jack “chose” Castiel as his father.
After this bombshell, our evil band of angels returns, led by the young drunk woman from the fast food restaurant. The usual fight scene results and another bomb is dropped: Jack can survive an angel blade to the heart.
The episode ends with Sam and Dean agreeing to take Jack to the bunker with them and saying their goodbyes to those they lost: Castiel, Kelly, Crowley, and their mother. The scene shifts suddenly to the parallel universe where Lucifer is trapped with Mary. Lucifer almost kills her, but stops just short of doing so, realizing he might need her.
“Supernatural” knows how to follow up its cliffhangers. First, I forgot that Castiel died. I am still in denial. No one stays dead in “Supernatural,” and I’m convinced Castiel will return. I don’t care that they burned his body, he will return.
I wish I could show the exact notes I wrote while watching. While I summarized events and noted my thoughts, I also noted how similar Jack is to Castiel, his expressions, his literal answers, his misunderstanding of slang terms, etc. Everything down to his walk was similar. Early in the episode, I wrote down that Jack thought Castiel was his father. And when that twist was revealed, I turned to my boyfriend and exclaimed “I called it!” because I saw that twist coming. Biology be damned, Castiel is Jack’s father. Jack is powerful. It’s stated he can do almost anything, perhaps he can even change his parentage.
Dean spent a good portion of this episode in emotional distress. The loss of Castiel and his mother, and even Crowley, seems to weigh heavily on him. His recurring nightmare of losing his mother again demonstrates the significant loss he’s suffered. And of course, he and Castiel were inseparable. The loss of his best friend and his mother will haunt him for many episodes to come. It wouldn’t be “Supernatural” if one of the brothers wasn’t a dramatic and emotional wreck, would it?
Although I’m still convinced—or in denial—that Castiel will return, Crowley is probably gone for good, which is a real pity. I liked that snarky King of Hell. However, I have no doubt Castiel will return, and they are already hinting at Mary’s return, with Lucifer.
There are only a few new faces in this episode, namely, Jack. The actor who plays Jack is skilled in his role. While he’s new, and we don’t know much about him, he clearly studied Misha Collins’ portrayal of Castiel, and incorporated it into Jack’s character, as though hinting to the audience. This was incredibly well-done, and allowed me to detect that twist early.
Overall, it was an excellent episode that is very standard of “Supernatural.” I still assume Castiel will return somehow. Death is rarely the end in “Supernatural,” and I don’t care how many times various characters said “Castiel is dead,” I am firmly sticking to this belief. Fight me, writers. He’s coming back.
“Supernatural” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m./7 p.m. CDT on the CW. Episodes are available online the following day on the CW’s website, if you should miss them.