Holy crap, this episode was directed by
Samantha Carter from Stargate SG1 Naomi! No wonder it was so angel-centric!
For awhile now I’ve said that one of the biggest missteps of the show was not taking advantage of the opportunity of Castiel becoming mortal in S9. Had they done so, he could be regularly included in the show’s stories without breaking the plot and provided some character arcs and studies of the human condition. Then in this episode, when baby!Satan gives him a power up, it would be even more dramatic. Plus more understandable that Castiel goes away with the woman who got him his mojo back.
Of course the real question is whether what Castiel and Kelly are seeing is legitimate or a manipulation by Lucifer. Historically in the show, the changing of eye color is never good. Will the kid serve his Dad or in the greatest sense of irony ever, will he rebel and decide to fight his father?
I think it really depends on whether they think next season will be the show’s last or not. If there is a season 14, one of the aforementioned plots is likely. If they aim to end, I think they may do something similar to what the show Angel did in S4. In that season a being came to earth who caused everybody that looked at her to instantly fall in worshipful love with her (whether they wanted to or not). Eventually the show became our heroes against the world in trying to stop her. Given the reactions we see this episode with Castiel and Kelly, there are seeds planted for the child to assume a similar role as a big bad next season. Place your bets now on which way things will go.
It was very disappointing to see “Joshua” return (not even played by the same actor!) only to be unceremoniously killed off, which soured me on the Colt’s “death.” Reminder to creators: You’ve got to space out your emotional impacts or the audience becomes numb to them. With everything the show had invested in both the character of Joshua and the Colt, both should have had their own episode to die in. As it is, things just feel… cheap.
The opening was hard to watch, but to be fair that was its intent. Of late the only negative emotions the show pulled out of me was annoyance and rage, so a negative feeling the show intended to convey is still a step up – even if I felt later annoyance at the deaths later. Still what does it say that the demon in this season did a better job with her goal than the BMOL? See how Dagon first tries being nice and kind to her target THEN is cruel and torturous only LATER when circumstances change? Though yes, as a demon she was probably eager for a chance to torture, she at least waited. Kind of. The jump from nice to bad seems to have been mostly off screen which is disappointing. After their last appearance we could have had a scene or two of Dagon convincing Kelly that the Winchesters intended her harm and turning her against them. She didn’t have to resort to the chained up in the basement part. Anyway, the BMOL decided to try it the other way and look how badly it’s gone for them. It’s a shame, really. The season could have ended up with a very clever parallel between the Winchesters and Kelly had the BMOL worked on seducing the Winchesters first. At this point in the season, imagine a scene where Sam & Dean talk about how deeply Lucifer & Dagon have their hooks into Kelly and she can’t see the truth about what’s going on. Meanwhile we the audience are yelling at the screen because every one of their words would apply to them and the BMOL. Oh well, maybe better planning and discussion will have things be better next season.
Finally, while I’ve joked about the show forgetting everything from the Carver years, good on the writers for remembering some of it to come up with a solution to the season without pulling something out of their ass. Between that and the Hellhound glasses, it’s almost like the writers remembered they have plenty of tools in their toolbox and don’t have to keep inventing new things. Well, ok except for that stupid exorcism egg, apparently NOBODY remembers that we had an angel expel spell from way back in S4. (Kidding, I can see a few reasons why going with the easter egg instead – even if it’s cheaper drama.) Anyway that is how one should use canon. “Always use what’s at hand and try not to invent new unless you have no other choice” is a rule of thumb in writing that will always make your stories better and help you avoid a sense of cheating deus ex machina in the audience.
Objectively speaking this is maybe about a 3, but the deaths of some favorites just drag it down for me personally to about: