(episodes will be graded as a part of season 5 itself, not the show as a whole. to get the comparative score to the whole show, add a +2 shell modifier)
I’m going to review this episode on several measures.
First, how did this show work as a whole? I down ranked on this because more than almost any other episode, this one struck me as schizophrenic. The first half was fairly fun and enjoyable, almost making you think we might have the trickster show up one more time, then the show takes a hard left turn and becomes serious. Too serious. Yellow Fever was somewhat similar with the first part being very humorous with a dramatic turn at the end, but that turn wasn’t as… much as this time (plus the ending resumed humorous so it balanced out all around). This time we have to go over the possibility of killing a kid? What the hell?
Second, how did this episode feature in the mythology as a whole? On the one hand, it does fit better with The End and explains a lot of what we see. Instead of just having the angels “leave” and Castiel getting depowered (which makes no sense – how come Lucifer isn’t?), we can see that sometime after Sam says ‘yes’ he got the antichrist which banished and/or weakened all other angels (leaving Lucifer empowered). However, as the brothers pointed out, this kid had demi-god, reality-warping powers. How? Demons are the corrupted spirits of humans. Combine one of them with another human and… ok maybe you’d get a human^2 but… demi-god? More powerful than angels? Why not just have the kid with the powers of demons (telekinesis, etc) without the weaknesses? Not only that, but now we have even more questions…
- Why did Azazel just bleed into the kids? Why not make deals with the girls (or just 1 of them) to make an antichrist? The kid would have no problems breaking seals, freeing Lucifer, and probably being a vessel.
- As a follow up, the whole idea of parthenogenesis just bugs me. If a demon-possessed man has altered blood, wouldn’t he have altered semen as well? What? Azazel couldn’t run around leaving his demonic seed in a bunch of gals?
- Why just 1 antichrist? Why aren’t the demons running around making more than one?
Personally I preferred it when Sam was the presumed antichrist. Yes, there are some parallels with Jesse being virgin born like Jesus, but there is also parallel in Sam being the vessel of Lucifer as Jesus might be seen as the vessel of God. Plus, he would destroy the world as Jesus saved it. Sam is much more ‘anti’ than Jesse.
Finally, I want to look at the episode on a personal level. Yes, this is about the line from Castiel, “Your Bible gets more wrong than it does right.” Ignoring whatever insult this line possesses, I’m mostly upset because it was so damn unnecessary. There’s only 4 verses in the Bible which use the word “antichrist”. They are:
- Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. -1 John 2:18
- Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. -1 John 2:22
- but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. -1 John 4:3
- Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. -2 John 1:7
What do you notice about those? Right! None give any details on parentage. The idea of antichrist == Lucifer’s spawn is a theologically debated topic and not concrete biblically. Castiel could have just as easily said, “You should read what the Bible actually says and not what pop culture says it says.” (or something to that effect) and had a hand-wave of the kid, been more accurate to the Bible and much less insulting to less people. The show usually does such good homework; I’m more offended that Kripke & Co were lazy!
So for all of these reasons, I’m giving this episode a measly 2 (and only +1 because of the humor).