The Official Supernatural: “Ouroboros” (14.14) Live Recap Thread


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Recap of Dean and Michael, and Jack’s boring lost-powers storyline.

Cut to Now. As a French pop song plays on the soundtrack, a man in Raton, NM is cutting up vegetables. He has a dead man, chest staked open, on his kitchen counter. He takes out the man’s liver, breads it, and fries it. There’s a snake (poisonous?) next to the dead man’s head. The cook picks up the snake, commenting that perhaps they can have a nice meal “undisturbed,” this night.

The dead man’s eyes are wide open. This makes things convenient for the man who killed him, as the cook plucks out of dead man’s eyes and pops it into his mouth. As his eyes turn to snake-like slits, he has a vision, in green, of Sam and Dean coming into the house, guns drawn.

He comments, “They’re coming again.” I presume he means Hunters, since there’s no evidence yet that he has crossed paths with the Brothers (let alone any explanation why he survived the encounter). Plucking out the dead man’s other eyeball (“a snack for later”), he slings the snake, called “Felix,” around his neck, puts on his coat, and goes out. We get a final shot of the dead man’s face, now with empty eye sockets.

Cue title cards.

Back to the nice house in New Mexico, where dinner is starting to burn. We see Sam and Dean enter the house in exactly the same way as the cook saw them. What he didn’t see was Castiel and Jack come in behind them. So, he’s not quite as smart as he thought he was. If they catch up to him.

Dean goes upstairs. Castiel and Jack go into the kitchen. Castiel groans at seeing the body and puts his fingers to its forehead for some reason. Jack looks at the dishes on the stove. He says, “He’s cooking body parts … again.”

Subsequent conversation as everyone gathers in the kitchen indicates that, indeed, the cook was referring to them previously. Seems they’ve been hunting him for a while and can’t figure out why he’s always one step ahead of them. Or why his victims never fight back, even though the latest one seems to have been still alive when the cook started slicing and dicing. The dead man’s name is Dennis Barron and it’s his house.

Dean guesses they’re dealing with witchcraft. In comes none other than Rowena, grumping that Dean is “always blaming witches.”

Dean: ‘Cause a lot of times, it’s witches!

He’s got a point, Rowena.

It turns out that Rowena was in the general locality when the rest of TFW 2.0 (oh, come on, people, she’s totally a card-carrying member now) called her up and asked her for help with a tracking spell. They’ve been hunting the cook “for weeks” and Rowena points out that her spell has gotten them closer than before, even if they just missed the guy.

Even so, they have no new clues until Jack picks up a snake cast the cook had previously stepped over and apparently forgotten. Dean comments that the cook may have a snake as a pet.

When Jack starts coughing, everyone stops and looks at him in concern. Jack insists he’s not dying. No one looks particularly convinced. Frankly, I’m more concerned about Dean being out on a hunt, looking for a killer who’s already claimed at least six victims in northern New Mexico. Dean’s on a psychological knife’s edge keeping Michael locked inside his head. Why, oh, why, is he out hunting?

Rowena, notes the blackened lips of the dead man (she hadn’t yet been at one of the crime scenes). Sam says there are also gray patches on the face. Dean snarks that they were concentrating on cannibalism and missing eyes.

Rowena does seem to love fight-flirting with Dean. I wonder if he realizes it? Oh, who am I kidding? It’s Dean. Of course he does.

Back at the motel, Rowena probes Sam on how Jack is not dying (since that was how he was last time she saw him) and how Dean is managing to keep Michael locked up. Sam hedges (saying, for example, that “Dean is Dean” and everything is hunky-dory until they find another way to trap or kill Michael) and tells her they need to get back down to the business of researching their hunt.

At a nearby diner, Dean is admitting to Castiel (which whom she’d been flirting at the crime scene) he’s glad Rowena’s also on the case. Cue the sneak peek in which Castiel asks Dean how he’s really doing. Let’s just say Dean is having a lot of migraines and it’s very distracting. Dean admits that he’s hanging on by his fingernails and barely sleeping. Castiel calls that not “sustainable.” Dean agrees and forces a promise out of Castiel to put Dean in the Malak Box and drop it in the ocean, if it comes to it.

Oh, and Jack is in the bathroom, coughing up blood again. He uses his soul energy to heal himself, which I’m sure will not end well. Oh, I so did not miss this dumb storyline.

When Jack comes back, Dean puts his mask back on and they get back to the case. Castiel calls the murders they’re tracking “ritualistic” and “liturgical.” When Dean and Jack exchange a glance, and Jack gets his usual deer-in-headlights look, an exasperated Castiel says, “It means ‘religious.'”

“Ah,” Dean says. “Yeah. See, that one I knew.”

Castiel speculates that it may not be a monster. It may be a human serial killer. Jack points out that anyone who would do the crimes they’re tracking is a monster, regardless of their species. Dean agrees.

They get a call that Sam and Rowena are on to something and head back to the motel. There, Dean gets a turn at confusing Jack, calling Sam’s infodump “an AV Club presentation.”

I gotta say that Ackles is nailing Dean’s world-weary, insomniac, I’ve-got-a-headache-the-size-of-an-archangel attitude very well this week. He’s a hoot and you just know something’s very wrong underneath.

So, Sam and Rowena have identified the monster as a Gorgon. Dean recognizes the name and cites Medusa. Rowena looks a bit shocked at this flash of erudition and Dean says he got it from the film, Clash of the Titans, which deflates her a bit. Whether that’s Dean practicing his usual self-deprecating sleight-of-hand about his education, who knows? Anyhoo, he easily infodumps the myth about the Gorgon’s look turning humans to stone. Rowena says this is an exaggeration. What Gorgons actually do is use snake venom to paralyze their victims and then eat them. And they like to go on killing-and-eating sprees every few months. This one has been cutting a swath of 17 people across the southern U.S., roughly along the old Route 66.

This brings up the issue of how the Gorgon keeps eluding them. Rowena mentions an obscure bit of lore that the Gorgon, by eating pieces of its victim, “can glimpse the future.” How are they going to catch a creature that can literally see them coming? No one has an idea.

Meanwhile, the Gorgon is stalking his next victim, a trucker, by pretending to be a desperate and hungry hitchhiker (well, he’s hungry, anyway) who’s willing to do anything to get a ride. Yes, that includes giving the trucker a BJ. But once they get in the truck, he instead starts with a kiss on the lips. When the trucker starts to get impatient about how that wasn’t what he had in mind, he becomes paralyzed in mid-word. There was venom on the Gorgon’s lips.

Pleasantly telling him it’s going to hurt, since it takes a while for the venom to make people numb, the Gorgon plucks one of the trucker’s eyes out and eats it.

This is one of those watch-through-your-fingers scenes at which Supernatural has long excelled. You know the trucker’s doomed, but he doesn’t – until it’s too late. And now we know the Gorgon’s modus operandi.

The next day, Dean and Castiel are at the truck, pretending to be FBI, talking to a young police officer, about the case. The trucker is inside, missing both eyes and, of course, dead.

After a nervous case of the giggles dies down, the policeman shares with them an important bit of information. There was a note on the body. It’s addressed to Dean. Dean manages to get it from the officer, who leaves, and read it out loud to Castiel.

The Gorgon says he sees Dean reading the note, alone, beside the truck, and talks about other fragments involving Dean, Sam and Rowena. But he never mentions Castiel or Jack. Sam realizes that they have an in. The Gorgon can’t see angels. They can use Rowena’s spell to track him and then Castiel and Jack can trap him.

Okay … but … Dean has an archangel inside him. How can the Gorgon see him? It’s a plothole, but there you go.

Meanwhile, Rowena says she should whip up an antidote to the Gorgon’s poison, just in case. And she has an idea about how to get the antivenin. She says, with an evil smile. Hmm.

Cut to a vet’s office. Rowena and Sam rush in, Sam holding a fluffy little dog. They claim that the dog is sick and ask for immediate help. They get the vet to take the dog right away by playing a bickering couple. They call him “Jack.”

The vet (well, vet tech) takes the pup into the back, takes his temperature by sticking a thermometer up his butt, and then leaves him on the table to go talk to the “loving” couple. Vets don’t just leave animals like that, but hey, this is a show that sits people up who are bleeding to death so they can do dying monologues. And has male Gorgons. Moving along.

When she goes back out to the waiting room, Sam and Rowena are gone (what, they wouldn’t even stick around to provide a distraction?). In the exam room, the dog turns into Jack, who fishes through the nearby medical shelf until he finds antivenin. When the vet tech comes back to the exam room, the dog is also gone.

Outside, Jack comments that he wishes he’d got the stuff before she’d taken his temperature and gets in the car. After a mutual double-take, Rowena quizzes Sam about Jack’s current condition. Mentioning in passing the transformation spell she did to turn Jack into a dog, she says she noticed some kind of energy “pushing back” against her, something parasitic. Now adjudging herself beyond curious and into “worried,” she demands Sam tell her what’s up.

When Sam hedges some more, she points out that using “mysterious” magic with unknown consequences is “a very on-brand me thing to do” and then further points out that “until very recently, I was the villain.” Ah, Rowena, how I love your willingness to call Sam a hypocrite.

Meanwhile, the Gorgon is monologuing to his snake and his latest victim, who’s tied up and crying in his condo. The Gorgon says he picks on men because women have become much more “cautious” of late. He also suggests that the man is hallucinating, which makes me kinda wonder if this is all in Dean’s head, or something. The man starts screaming for help, so the Gorgon paralyzes him and goes looking for the oven.

Meanwhile, Sam is checking in with Maggie (ugh). She infodumps about how the Gorgon can only be killed by beheading with a silver sword. Also, Mary is on her way back from a case in Oregon.

I just realized why the Gorgon guy looks “familiar.” They’re doing the Andrew Cunanan murder spree, hence all the gay predator vibes and the reference earlier in the episode to human monsters. I’m kinda eh about this idea. I’m not sure TV needs any more gay killer stereotypes.

Anyhoo, Sam thanks Maggie for all her help (oops, Redshirt Clean-up on Aisle 3 alert) and hangs up. He relays the info about the silver sword to the rest of TFW as Rowena wraps up her location spell and tells them the Gorgon is nearby, not moving. Dean wonders if they need to worry about “things” coming out of the Gorgon’s neck once they cut off his head. Sam scoffs that this is movie exaggeration, but legend actually has Pegasus and Chrysaor, among other things, springing out (you remember Chrysaor, right? The golden sword from last episode?). Also, as Dean wisely points out, “We can’t be sure.”

Anyhoo, when the Gorgon hears the doorbell, he tells the man he was previously torturing (who is either unconscious or dead), “I’m expecting anyone – are you?” Castiel kicks down one door and when the Gorgon tries to run, Jack appears in the other one.

The Gorgon chuckles and claims it’s not fair: “You’re not human.”

“And you’re a monster,” Jack says.

“Demigod, actually,” the Gorgon corrects him, while putting his snake in his satchel, which, strictly speaking, is true. I was wondering if the show would even remember that. The Gorgon further states that while he didn’t see him coming, he can “see” Jack now.

Anyhoo, while Castiel checks the Gorgon’s victim and gives him the antidote, the Gorgon tells Jack a story. Castiel helps the man out of harm’s way (so, yeah, he was unconscious, not dead). Meanwhile, the Gorgon says there was once a chicken whose eggs were constantly being eaten by a snake. Finally, there was only one egg left, but the snake got that, too. Unfortunately, for the snake, though the chicken had guarded the egg well, it was really a trap. The chicken had hard-boiled it and the snake choked to death.

When Castiel growls at him to get to the point, the Gorgon says, “I can’t tell if he’s the chicken or the snake.”

Castiel attacks the Gorgon and, after a brief fight, gets “kissed” and collapses. Furious, Jack blindly attacks the Gorgon and gets slammed into a cabinet. When the Brothers come in, the Gorgon only acknowledges Dean: “Hello, Dean. Wish I could say it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Because TV fights are usually stupid, Sam attacks first (everybody really should just pile on the monster) and gets knocked down. Dean attacks and does best of all, nearly beating the Gorgon. But the Gorgon gets the drop on him and slams him into a cabinet – twice. Really hard. Dean goes down, unconscious.

Sam cries out in horror and attacks the Gorgon, but gets knocked flying. The Gorgon then grabs his bag and heads out into the hallway … where Jack slices off his head out of nowhere. Bye-bye Gorgon.

Jack rushes to Castiel, while Sam rushes to Dean. Jack tries the antidote out on Castiel (Castiel had it in his coat pocket), but it doesn’t appear to work. So, Jack uses his soul power to heal Castiel. This is quite stupid. If the poison actually worked on Castiel (why would it work on an angel?), the antidote should, too.

Meanwhile, Sam is discovering that Dean is in a deep coma and not coming out of it. TFW 2.0 rushes back to the Bunker, where Maggie asks if Dean is okay. Sam says no, that Dean has a head injury. For once, I can kinda understand Maggie’s confusion – the Brothers get knocked out all the time, often for hours.

Castiel can’t heal Dean because he supposedly can’t even get inside Dean’s head (yes, well, having an archangel inside does that). Jack offers to heal Dean the way he healed Castiel, but Castiel forbids it. Castiel says Jack has already burned off too much of his soul, already. I’m wondering why this didn’t come up on the hours-long car ride back. Crestfallen, Jack leaves the room.

Rowena sees Jack leave, but has nothing to offer save advice about washing Dean’s wounds (and a warning to Sam about how Jack is currently sustaining himself, now she realizes what it is). Really? Most powerful witch in the world and no healing spells? How about at least taking Dean to the hospital? They could treat him there.

Of course, Dean is unlikely to die any time soon with an archangel inside him, but more importantly, with Dean unconscious, what is that archangel doing? Maybe TFW should slap some angel cuffs on Dean just in case? But nope. Doesn’t occur to anyone. Not even when Dean convulses – and we get a flash of Michael beating on the inside of his cage – does Sam buy a clue.

While Rowena does research (they kept the Gorgon’s snake, by the way, and yes, it’s cute), Jack sits in his room and mopes. Castiel comes in to cheer him up. Jack is really shocked that Dean is so badly hurt: “It’s Dean. It was just a fight.” Castiel points out there’s always a “risk” when they go on hunts. Which brings us back to why the hell was Dean out hunting with Michael in his head, when there was a houseful of Hunters who could have been out there in his place? But nobody asks this pertinent question.

Castiel says that Sam and Dean are human, mortal, and that even the “brightest beings,” while they “burn bright,” they are gone before their time. Castiel says that Dean will wake up (ignoring Jack’s concern about Michael if Dean doesn’t) and then it’s best to appreciate the time everyone has together.

Jack wonders what the point is of being a “cosmic being” if everyone you love dies. Don’t worry, Jack – you’re not likely to outlive Sam and Dean. They’re the heroes of the show.

Jack mopes that he has powers, but can’t use them to help those he loves. He feels selfish. He also worries about the story the Gorgon told him (turns out he kept the snake). Castiel explains that the story is mostly about greed, but it’s also about “killing the thing you love to kill the thing you hate.”

This mopefest is interrupted by Dean screaming in the distance. Castiel and Jack rush to the infirmary to find Sam trying to calm Dean, who is pretty literally ripping the place apart, screaming “WHERE IS HE?!!” He doesn’t have his balance back, but he sure is pissed.

Sam tries to reassure Dean that he’s back in the Bunker (i.e., safe). Unsettlingly, Dean roars back, “I KNOW WHERE I AM!” He does not mean the Gorgon. Then he turns to them, looking devastated, and says five scary words: “He’s gone! Michael … he’s gone!”

We get a flash of the cage inside Dean’s head, with the door busted wide open.

Dean is horrified and at first, blames himself. But when Castiel tries to reassure him, Dean turns on a dime to pure rage at Sam: “I told you! I told you to let me take that coffin ride to the bottom of the ocean!” And yeah, he’s not wrong.

Alas, there’s no time for anyone to absorb that, as a scream of terror from another part of the Bunker alerts them just how wrong Dean is not. It’s Maggie. They rush to the library, where everyone is dead except for Maggie. She comes running to them, but is remote-smote (Michael’s signature power) right in front of Sam.

Out strolls Rowena, with blood on her neck. She says, “Hello, boys” and her eyes glow white. Michael.

Dean calls out Michael in his new vessel and Castiel tries to order Michael to let Rowena go. Michael snarks that Rowena is just fine, “sturdier than she looks,” and speculates that all the centuries of magic have made her a pretty strong vessel. Michael then monologues about why Rowena said yes (after an odd bit to Dean about how he must “appreciate” Michael’s choice of a new vessel in Rowena). It turned out Michael (played by Ackles inside Rowena’s head) threatened to kill everyone she loved in the Bunker if she didn’t say yes – well, after threatening to kill her, to which she laughed and said Sam was fated to do that. Yeah, we already kinda knew Rowena had a soft spot for the rest of TFW 2.0, but in the rest of this hot mess of an episode, the writers choose to drive this particular point home. I will admit, though, that I enjoyed Ruth Connell’s take on Michael.

Michael then says, “I had no intention of keeping my word, but I think she knew that.”

When Michael snarks that Dean should have done the Malak Box “while he had the chance,” Dean tells Sam to get the angel cuffs. Obviously, Michael doesn’t let them do that. He/she immobilizes and tortures Dean, Sam and Castiel (but ignores Jack for some reason). Jack then grabs an angel sword and calls out Michael.

Michael zaps Jack. Jack’s eyes glow and he zaps her back, releasing the rest of TFW 2.0. Michael shrugs that Jack is burning off his soul and it will be gone soon enough. There’s some lame zapping back and forth, bragging from Michael, and speechifying from Jack (in comparison, that dodgy wirework from last season’s finale is Emmy-award-winning), before Jack grabs Rowena and expels Michael from her. Then he apparently reduces the glowing light of Michael and his grace to a tiny stream that he inhales.

Then he turns around and declares he’s “me again” as his eyes glow.

Credits

Ratings for this week went down a bit to a 0.4/2 and 1.28 million (which may be a series low for audience). Even so, it came in second in audience and tied for second (with Supergirl) for demo this week. Go figure.

The promo for next week is up.

Review

So, that happened.

This show, bless its heart, has had a talent over the years for reinventing itself. Part of that, of course, stems from the show, at its core, being a meta commentary on the horror genre. As horror has changed, so has Supernatural. The other part has been its being a hybrid procedural, in which it had MOTW episodes and serialized episodes and ones in between.

Unfortunately, the thing with experiments is that they don’t all work. I don’t even know if this episode was intended to be an experiment, but damn, did it not work.

Were there enjoyable parts of the episode? Absolutely. Dean and Castiel’s cheerfully dysfunctional parenting of Jack while on the hunt was hysterical and it looks as though the show’s finally decided to make its MOTWs scary again. It wasn’t a total cringefest along the lines of “Bitten” or “Bloodlines.” The episode was still recognizably Supernatural. It was just an episode with some really serious plotting and canon issues.

Let’s start with the ending. I’d have called it a cliffhanger ending if next week didn’t look like a “normal” MOTW. Then again, this week was advertised as one, too, so there you go.

Jack … oh, dear. I actually quite like Jack, but I like very specific things about Jack. I like him when he is a member of the family (similarly, I like Rowena best when she’s a part of TFW and not so much when she’s a villain). That’s where Alexander Calvert’s bro chemistry with the rest of the main/recurring cast shines through. Jack as a budding Hunter, as someone who is learning how to love and how to strategize and how to navigate the world – in other words, Jack with character growth and a learning curve? I like that Jack.

Jack with superpowers I don’t like at all. And I really hate the incessant banging away at his cosmic beingness at the exact same time we get the “Jack is dying” plot. He’s not Schrodinger’s Naphil, show. Make up your damned minds. Either he’s dying or he’s immortal. He can’t be both.

The other problem is that Jack is sweet, but he’s dumb. I mean, I get why. He’s a baby. But the kid is less than two years old. Kumquats can still outwit him at this point. Look how easily Lucifer took him down and yet, here he is again, thinking he can just use powers to solve every problem. Because that’s worked out so well so far.

It is therefore quite insulting (on top of having Jack steal Dean’s storyline and all the canon carnage it entails, but one disaster at a time) and unsatisfying to have Jack kill Michael just like that. In fact, I don’t actually buy that Jack has killed Michael.

Yes, Jack with his powers is impressive, but on top of having cosmic powers, Michael is also old and wise and cunning. I’ve seen fans speculate that Michael got cocky and arrogant and eh, I don’t see it. Not with Jack, anyway. Michael’s been plenty arrogant with Dean, and it’s gotten him into plenty of trouble with his Chosen Sword, but he was still nigh-impossible to beat. He was one step ahead of everyone, nearly at all times.

If this character had been named “Lucifer” or “Crowley,” would we have believed he was truly dead? Oh, hell, no. So, it’s ridiculous to think that Michael is. And yet, the way the show has been with this character, I wouldn’t be very surprised if this really were the end for Michael. They’ve wasted this character so, so much.

The other thing that has me rolling my eyes (while simultaneously making me very suspicious) is that the last time Jack tried to restart his powers with archangel grace, it nearly killed him. Now, it just worked? Hmm. Hence that cliffhanger feel.

Speaking of dumb, damn, Sam, that Idiot Ball looked heavy this week (poor Castiel, despite getting pwned by the MOTW, still looked like a genius in comparison). The episode toyed a bit with the fact that none of this would have happened if Sam had backed Dean with the Malak Box. Or at least brought angel cuffs with them on hunts in case Dean lost consciousness or otherwise lost control (or even used them in the infirmary, jeez, Sam). The box option was tragic, but it was a sure thing, a sure way to save the world. But Sam had to have his world-saving cake and his brother, too, and just as Dean warned him, Michael got out.

Well, unless Jack resurrects them next week, I guess we don’t have to deal with the Sam-as-Hunter-Central storyline, anymore. Seeing as how they’re all dead (including Maggie – yay) and it’s Sam’s fault.

Or are they? There were various references inside the story itself to hallucinations and things not being as they seemed. For a start, this is the same writer who gave us this scene a mere four episodes ago:

Let’s all keep in mind that not once does Billie actually say Michael will kill Dean (and by the way, Rowena’s able to call Michael’s first bluff because of similar info Billie gave her). She says that Michael will escape his mind and use him as a vessel to burn the world, unless he goes into the box. Dean, as I pointed out at the time, will be immortal. He just will experience what Michael threatened Rowena with. And by the way, Michael can’t kill Sam if Sam is invariably fated to kill Rowena, so … yeah.

Well, Michael did escape Dean’s mind, but what about the rest? Michael indicated to Rowena that he had lost interest in Dean as his vessel. This … doesn’t pass the sniff test. It’s basically Michael admitting defeat with a mere human and Michael never does that. If the door’s closed, he finds a window, but he doesn’t just give up.

Also, if Michael was able to escape the cage inside Dean’s mind, that should have meant he could retake control of Dean’s body at that point. Why didn’t he? Dean wasn’t restrained in any way that Michael couldn’t deal with (no angel cuffs). Hell, even if we go along with the idea that he possessed Rowena, no way would he kill Dean that quickly. He’d kill everyone else slowly and make Dean watch. And it makes no sense whatsoever that Michael wouldn’t include Jack in that pain. He did at the beginning of “Nihilism.” You know, the episode written by the same writer.

I therefore have to wonder if some kind of mind-fuck is going on and if so, where we (and Dean) parted ways with the show’s reality. It makes no sense that the show, that the very same writer, would ditch carefully laid-out canon just four episodes later. In context with what we were explicitly told and shown four episodes ago, Jack killing Michael (or even successfully exorcising him) makes no sense whatsoever. Admittedly, this is a show that has ditched canon like a prom dress at an after hours party, but generally, it occurs at least half a season later and under different writer management.

But all this being some elaborate Michael plan to get Dean back under his thumb? That makes sense to me. Granted, it doesn’t make the plotting (especially the inconsistent and sometimes nonexistent foreshadowing and subtext) in this episode any better. But at least it tracks for the general storyline. I don’t get using the term “Ouroboros” (a symbol of a serpent eating its own tail, which represents eternity) for Jack getting his powers back. I do get it for Michael trying once again to “tame” his chosen vessel.

Finally, let’s talk about the MOTW. The actor, Philippe Bowgen (as the Gorgon, Noah Ophis), did a good job getting the creep across.  And the general idea of the Brothers chasing a killer over several weeks and several states, never quite sure if they’re even chasing something supernatural, was intriguing. Even though I had issues with the writing for him (all that endless monologuing, ugh, and then he gets killed off just like that, after delivering a weird story), and was skeptical of the gay predator angle, Bowgen sold it well, I thought.

At first, I wasn’t impressed by the idea that this MOTW could be so dangerous a fighter once cornered. The Gorgon is clearly a lowlife. There’s really no reason to run if he’s not afraid of the Hunters chasing him. Also, his focus on Dean was really strange.

Then I remembered the Djinn we had this season (“Nightmare Logic”). You remember him – Michael’s creature? Michael’s enhanced creature? What if Michael wasn’t just experimenting on monsters, but on demigods, as well? I suppose it’s possible the pagan gods will make a reappearance, more powerful than before, thanks to Michael’s tinkering. But that may just be wishful thinking.

Anyhoo, this is one of those episodes where the foreshadowing/subtext/whatever needed to be a whole lot clearer. I mean, if you’re going to have a Gorgon this week and mention Medusa, you really should also mention that you had a sword connected  to Medusa last week, because absolutely will the audience remember that.

I felt as though there was a lot of handwaving about the snake-and-chicken storyline, while things like the Gorgon’s strangely formidable defense and obsession with Dean (not to mention his just throwing everyone else about while intentionally knocking Dean out). I feel as though this storyline is like the Ghost!Bobby one in season seven, where it will get muddied and dragged out so long that by the time we find out what the hell is going on (or even that something is going on), we’ll be so irritated that it won’t feel satisfying.

But hey, maybe this will all make sense by the end of the season. I just hope it makes sense because it doesn’t suck.


The Kripke Years

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Season 5

The Gamble Years

Season 6 (with Kripke)

Season 7

The Carver Years

Season 8

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Season 10

Season 11

The Dabb Years

Season 12

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Season 14


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31 thoughts on “The Official Supernatural: “Ouroboros” (14.14) Live Recap Thread”

  1. How did Jack have the power to kill Michael (if that really happened) in his weakened state? Was he absorbing the blasts Michael was hitting him with?

    If Michael is really dead, it will be up there as an anticlimax.

    1. Yeah, I found that a bit ridiculous, too. A demi-god can knock him across the room, but Michael can’t even knock him off his feet? I call shenanigans. Michael’s faked defeats before.

        1. Alt-Michael? Yes, I think he will show back up near or during the season finale.

          Also, there’s still “our” Michael, so we can’t really say Michael’s dead, even if they damp squibbed alt-Michael.

        1. No more of the Supernatural reviews just yet. My dance card has been a bit full with work, writing this academic paper/article coming up, and my two classes.

          1. Apologies for starting this week’s review late. I had some issues with the site (some of you may have noticed that the comments section disappeared for a couple of days) and some other things that had to be done/did not go as smoothly as they could have. Also, I was at a funeral this afternoon. I promise to do better, probably starting tomorrow night.

  2. To all those who tried to warn me – I’m sorry, you were right. I tried to give Dabb the benefit of a doubt but after this mess of an episode, even I have to admit defeat. All the previous showrunners had their issues but this is the first time I’ve felt one was running the show into the ground. Michael is another casualty in Dabb’s long list of pointless, mishandled storylines. And for me, it’s especially heartbreaking because Michael had so much unexplored potential.

    To be fair, the episode had some decent scenes – the creepy monster, the group’s worry about Dean’s health, Dean fighting so hard to keep Michael contained, Dean speaking his mind, Rowena’s snarky comments. I would have enjoyed it just fine as a regular MOTW standalone. But then they had to go and throw the resolution to the Michael issue right smack into the middle of this random, Jackcentric episode. Dean was pushed out of his own story and forced to just stand there while heroic Jack saved the day. Gee, this sure sounds familiar. Then, to top it all off, Dean’s connection to Michael, Billie’s books, what the djinn saw….all moot. Michael himself was just a plot device to set up Nephilim Jack, Wonder of the Universe. Thanks for nothing, writers. *blows rasberries in the general direction of Burbank*

    We’re now 14 episodes in and I can’t even tell you what this season is about. The evolution of the biggest Mary Sue character the show has ever seen? (I mean, Charlie was bad enough but even she wasn’t taking down the most powerful archangel with her shiny powers.) Nick? Lucifer? Who knows. And to be honest, at this point, I’m not sure I really care.

    (Of course, if this all turns out to be some elaborate ruse Michael planned, I take this all back, lol. But that kind of subterfuge requires a level of sophistication that I haven’t seen from these writers. Dabb and Singer seem very on the nose in their approach and even their most “hee, hee, plot twist” moments are easy to spot weeks before. But with so few episodes left, I guess we’ll see soon enough.)

    1. Well, with the short attention spans of TV viewers these days, it’s perilous to take this kind of course, especially without foreshadowing. The writers of this show have always acted like giggling nincompoops when it came to talking about upcoming storylines and it’s only gotten worse with the Nepotism Duo apparently in charge of the daily writers room. Doesn’t help that the spoilers this season have been thin on the ground and mostly uninspiring.

      As I said before, Jack does have his fans and I do think he’s liked by most of the audience. I just think the percentage that is watching only for him, or for him to be the Hero of the story, is quite small and definitely not sustainable for the show if other fans bail. I don’t think the endless hinting the show does about making him their Scrappy-Doo is the smartest interaction showrunners ever had with their fandom.

  3. If Michael was really experimenting on gods as well as monsters, I wonder if he was somehow implanting all of them with the ability and focus to recognize Dean and neutralize him. To provide an escape route out of Dean, in case Dean managed to trap him. Just in case, you know. After all, he was already learning the hard way how strong Dean was.

    I really doubt that Michael is dead. If anything, I’d guess he is in Jack and Jack doesn’t realize it. I know an angel must have consent from the vessel. But is that explicitly for humans? What about half humans? I could see Jack taking on Michael’s essence and confusing it with a resurgence in the archangel grace he feels he ought to have. Michael could then sit tight and allow himself to strengthen before making his presence known to Jack. And knowing Michael was in Jack would send Dean over the edge.

    1. Castiel had to say yes to Lucifer to let him in. And the reason they couldn’t exorcise Lucifer from him was because Castiel refused to rescind his consent.

      I think Michael might be inside Jack, as well, but I can’t see Jack being his endgame. Not only does it not jibe with Billie’s books, but Michael has invested far, far too much in permanently possessing and dominating Dean to do a volte-face like that now. All of this should be somehow tied up in forcing Dean to say yes for real and for good.

      1. Because it’s been bugging me, I went back to see what Dean actually said about the contents of his book: ” She paid me a little visit. She said that there’s only one way this ends right. And this is it. This, right here, this box. So, she gave up the special recipe, and all I had to do was the work. It’s fate.”

        Was it ever stated that Dean actually had to go in the box to change the outcome of the other books? Since Michael was in his head, Dean (and we) naturally assumed it. But in retrospect, maybe Dean was just meant to build the box. Because just the act of doing that did lead to the chain of events we saw.

        Not that I’m thrilled with this idea. It’d be splitting hairs and, as far as I’m concerned, just an excuse to have Dean sit out the prize fight. I just can’t otherwise figure out how Yockey could ignore his own canon from 4 episodes ago. Billie’s books have been such a big deal lately- Yockey even used Rowena to reinforce the truth written in hers (ie, Rowena mentioning her own death at Sam’s hands and Michael then no longer threatening her life as a persuasion tactic.) That just makes the discrepancy between Dean’s book & what actually happened even more glaring.

        1. Dean doesn’t strike me as someone who would ignore that kind of loophole. If all Billie had said was that he had to build the box, then he’d have said so.

          Also, Billie’s books are about how people “end.” Usually, that means how they die. In Dean’s case, currently, none of his books is about how he dies, including the one where he builds the Ma’lak Box. They are all about how he is used by Michael to burn the world down, except the one where he builds a box and apparently gets into it. But either way, building that box still leads to his “end.”

          So, as it currently stands, it doesn’t really make much sense, either way, unless you look at the ending as a cliffhanger where something happens next week to change how we see what we saw this week.

      2. Yes one would hope but it’s Jensens storyline and we all know what that means… so much potential wasted once again.

        But how lucky are we that we have a Showrunner who comes up with mostly nonsensical poems to tease about each weeks episodic content. Gag.

  4. I just thought of something else: is it possible Michael is hanging around Dean because he knows DEAN is Chuck’s favorite and thinks maybe CHUCK will come back to save Dean?

    I don’t want Dean!Michael gone. Jensen was able to bring such ‘animus’ to the part. He truly hates that one.

    1. I think one of two things is happening. Either something happened behind the scenes where one or more of the showrunners wanted to get rid of the Michael storyline, or this is a fakeout. Michael is *obsessed* with Dean. And yes, Michael’s only possible way of getting at Chuck quickly is to get his hooks into Dean and ride him hard. What Michael wants most of all, even more than to burn the world, is to find and kill Chuck.

  5. I have been thinking about Jack and this ‘soul business’ and I think I have come up with a solution that works for ME.

    A Naphil has Grace and the POWER of a human soul. In Frontierland, when Castiel needed a power boost, he plugged into Bobby’s soul and was able to bring Sam and Dean back.

    I even figured out that it is a combination of Angels and Human Souls that run Heaven: the Souls are the actual ‘power’ of the Heaven but the Angels are needed to keep it stable. Like running a power grid. I there are no engineers to run the grid, there are power bursts and brown outs all thru the system. So to run properly Heaven needs ‘both’ souls and Angels.

    Jack was more powerful as ‘himself’ than either Lucifer or Michael because he had Soul and Grace. I think Jack ‘did’ burn off his soul saving the others but then was replenished in the Grace department. Even though he is still a Naphil I think Jack will lack a human soul.

    I also think that sometime soon he will go to Heaven to run the place. I think ‘soulless’ he will ‘remember’ how much he loved TFW.2.0 but he won’t ‘feel’ it anymore, like Soulless Sam.

    The ‘first’ thing I thought of when all the AU!Hunters got smited was ‘what a Kripke move’ in other words, he developed the Roadhouse Crew, got bored, blew it up; he developed the Psy Kids, got bored, killed them all.

    I had no interest in the Hunters but thought Maggie was there to grow into Jack’s girlfriend or something (OH PLEASE do not bring back Necromancer chick). I wonder if Jack has the power to restore their lives and then SEND THEM AWAY to live their own lives or something. I did not hate Maggie but she was written/directed to be a Damsel in Distress constantly. I never saw a character like her on this show.

    But maybe she can get better.

    It did make no sense at all for Michael to totally neglect trying to enforce his will on Jack. I did not get that either.

    I will miss Jensen’s Michael. Golly that was a powerful performance.

    I don’t know if you knew but snowleopard got a shout out on previouslytv.com and they discussed your post on all the dropped Dean plots.

    I thought the Gorgon and the actor who played him were really good as the MOTW and in the part. REALLY creepy. I mean amazingly creepy.

    I also wondered if he was somehow ‘enhanced’ by Michael but I can only think he was unable to ‘vision’ Castiel and Jack. They don’t really need to tell us why. It’s ok by me.

    Your idea that this was all actually a foolie and still in Dean’s head works for me.

    1. Eh, I don’t see Jack successfully running Heaven, ever, within the time context of the show. As I said in the review, Jack is sweet and has good intentions, but he’s also young and stupid. He couldn’t possibly defend Heaven properly when he’s so easily outwitted. If anything, he’s done more lasting good without powers than with them. His powers always seemed to make situations backfire spectacularly because he lacked the wisdom to finess and them and tried to force things. At “best,” I could see the angels enslaving him and using him as a power source.

      Jack’s already playing with fire as it is. He keeps this up and the Empty will come for him again. His only real safety lies in remaining human and relatively powerless.

      I…don’t really agree that Jack’s extra power comes from having a soul. Or, more precisely, I don’t agree that he’s unique in that respect. Every angel who possesses a vessel has access to that vessel’s soul – or they should. If they don’t, then that would be different. In that case, Dean would be the only vessel we know who had simultaneous access to his own soul and an archangel’s grace. But even he struggled to beat Lucifer hopped up on Jack’s grace.

      I totally thought of Kripke and the Psykids when the alt-SPNverse Hunters got smote. But on the other hand, Jack can just heal them all, so we may still be stuck with them.

      Something that struck me about the Gorgon was that he totally pwned TFW 2.0, but he ran, anyway, after doing so. Makes you wonder why he didn’t make sure to kill them all before he did.

  6. Noah has just proven, yet again, that monsters on this show tend to have the self-preservation instinct of snowballs vacationing in Florida.

    Then again, smart monsters probably see Dean, Sam or the Impala and emigrate to Belize. If they’re very nervous, they probably have a nice fruit basket with an apology note delivered to their hotel room.

    1. LOL! True. Though monsters are noted for their high aggression and gods for their arrogance. Gods feel entitled to eat and dominate humans. And the ones that are still here have been getting away with it for thousands of years, so there is some basis for that cockiness. If Noah was enhanced by Michael, that would have ratcheted the arrogance up by about 100. Look at the Djinn.

      There may also be an element of the way demons are – that the Brothers are “just” Hunters and somebody’s gotta kill them sometime; might as well be me. The demons may be vaguely aware that the Brothers have Chuck’s favor (due to those who fought with Crowley against Amara) and really resent it, but monsters and gods were left completely out of that particular apocalypse loop.

  7. Also, the amount of fans cheering for “badass” Jack apparently killing Michael was pretty disheartening. Anyone who believes that this was a satisfying end to Michael’s story only cares about their beloved faves getting to win, no matter how cheap or nonsensical it would be.

    Jack has shared maybe 1.5 conversations with this character, yet he’s the one who gets to kill him while Dean and the others just gape on the sidelines? It makes zero sense, yet I’ve seen so many people caught up in Jack’s “using shiny powers to gank the baddie” and actually considering it a quality plot turn and genuinely awesome moment. It’s like Sam killing the Alpha Vamp with the Colt in season 12; it meant absolutely nothing to either character and was both unmemorable and contrived.

    1. Well, keep in mind that fandom is full of the “Twenty fans on the internet” phenomenon. It’s not that I think Jack (or, perhaps more accurately, Alex Calvert) is *un*popular. He does have a tidy little fandom. But by no means is that fandom particularly large, let alone as large or larger than the top three, J2M. They’re just loud. On Twitter. And I do think most fans actually care more about the Little Brother aspect of his character than the Shiny Superpowers aspect.

      On the flip side, I’ve seen a lot more Dean fans who were mighty salty about the other night. And they did not hold back. Dabb & Co. had to have seen that.

    2. One thing I *really* didn’t like about the ending was the abrupt tonal shift from everyone worrying about Dean and his head injury, and Dean being devastated over having lost control over Michael (something he repeatedly and urgently warned everyone else about and they just blew him off) to SuperJack Saves the World. I totally get everyone being distracted by Michael’s massacring everyone. I didn’t expect extended handholding for Dean. The second Dean said, “He’s gone,” it was All Hands On Deck. But it was ridiculous for everything to suddenly become All About Jack.

      I mean, last I checked, Dean still was recovering from a major head injury in that moment and was easily the most injured person left alive. Triage, Show. Triage.

    3. BUT Jack was on Apoca!Earth for quite a while and when TFW came for him (and Mary) he said he HAD to stay to kill Michael.

      He has been focused on killing Michael for a long time.

      AND Michael ‘did’ torture him on Apoca!Earth so they DID have conversations.

      I am not denying Paula’s interpretation of Naphil-power. It’s just I thought Jack having BOTH a soul and Grace is why he was so powerful from the moment of birth.

      Just that ‘they are’ is ok as an answer for me. My husband says I try to ‘logic’ things out too much.

      1. The thing is that Jack and Michael – any version of Michael – are not the lifelong enemies that Dean and Michael are. Michael destroyed Dean’s family and manipulated his life going back generations. Remember that Dean is not just Michael’s vessel – he is Michael’s sword and an archangel’s sword is also his/her worst bane. Michael will (and it is “will,” since “our” Michael, at the least, is still alive) always need Dean as much as Dean is perilous to him.

        One could argue that Sam equally “deserved” to kill Lucifer, but that dynamic was somewhat different. Lucifer had manipulated Sam to give in to his anger and hate (so Sam actually had to reject Lucifer without trying to kill him in order to be free of him), and Dean had spent most of his life protecting Sam from Lucifer and his minions. So, Dean stabbing Lucifer, after Sam tossed him the sword, made sense. It was Dean once again defending Sam and it was Sam finally choosing Dean over Lucifer.

  8. The major sticking point for me is Dean’s death books. Billie was explicitly clear on Dean’s two possible fates, both of them related to Michael. And since there’s been no further world-hopping, there should be no reason for them to have changed again. And I can’t see why the writers would even bother to set this up if they were going to completely dump it a mere four episodes later.

    The entire climax was completely ridiculous, and Yockey is usually good at keeping things consistent, canonical, and coherent, especially between his own episodes. Why would he write Michael threatening to liquefy Dean’s brains in 14.10 but have him simply leave in 14.14? Why would Michael fight so strongly for his perfect vessel in 14.10 but then just casually toss him aside for Rowena, of all people? Why did Michael leave Jack untouched while he was happily suffocating and blinding the others?

    It makes zero narrative or thematic sense to kill Michael this soon with such a ridiculous deus ex machina while Dean, the actual focus of this story, lies uselessly on the ground contributing nothing. Unless the writers LOL!Canon Dean’s fated deaths away (a mere four episodes after establishing them, which would be ridiculous even for this show), Dean must still have a central role in the remaining mytharc.

    The only alternative is that Yockey’s typing fingers got possessed and went about contradicting/nullifying every significant story and character beat that he himself set up in 14.10. Is Michael’s compelling motivation against Chuck, for instance, really not going to get any kind of closure? I can’t bring myself to believe that just yet.

    One possibility is that Michael put Dean and TFW under a collective whammy as soon as he broke out, then faked his own death in a semi-plausible scenario to put Dean and everyone else at ease while Michael wreaked havoc in the real world. Another possibility is that AUMichael actually is dead, but Jack starts to turn bad from ingesting his essence and Dean needs to get our Michael out of the Cage to deal with him. Then, Dean manages to get into the Malak box and that’s the cliffhanger.

    But I’m kind of clinging by my fingernails at this point. This episode on its own, without the potentially necessary context provided by the remainder of this season, was just utterly wretched.

    1. As I said, the episode had its charms, but that ending was…dire.

      I tend to agree that this is somehow some kind of machination from Michael. I don’t buy that Jack just killed him like that, even if the writers have been overly enthusiastic over the past season and a half with having Jack sprout brand-new powers whenever they wrote themselves into a corner.

      The thing is that Jack honestly believes he is Michael’s nemesis and vice versa. But all of Michael’s slick talk about being Jack’s uncle is beside the point. Michael doesn’t care about Jack. He didn’t even care enough about Jack to drain him of his considerable power when he easily could have done so, the way Lucifer did. He cares about Dean. All versions of Michael are obsessed with Dean. Dean was explicitly created to be Michael’s and Michael is so jealous of possessing Dean that he makes Lucifer look balanced on that score. Dean is Galatea to Michael’s Pygmalion. Pygmalion is never going to let anyone else have his perfect creation. He’d turn into Frankenstein and destroy it, first.

  9. I love your articles. Cant wait to read them! Are you going to finish episode 14? It’s only half way done. 🙂

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