With just a handful of episodes remaining for this season, The CW’s Supernatural geared up to make its filler episode one filled with character development. Now that we’ve become accustomed to Jack being around, he’s in for storylines centered on him; that doesn’t mean he’s the only one in focus, though, in season 14 episode 15.
Episode 15 off with a distressed-looking dude asking a waitress named Sunny to run away with him, in what looks quite a lot like one of those cheesy romance films. This being Supernatural, the guy doesn’t last long. After kissing Sunny goodbye (how long has it been since we last saw a romantic kiss of any kind on this show, by the way?), the dude finds his head literally exploding as the store clerk belches in disgust.
We then cut to the Men of Letters bunker where Dean (Jensen Ackles) is in full-on hound mode as he chows down an enormous sandwich and makes us wonder yet again how this guy manages to rock a six-pack ab figure with that appetite.
Castiel (Misha Collins), not being one to sleep, first checks in on Jack, who doesn’t act like the sweet-natured boy we’re used to seeing him as. Jack (Alexander Calvert) dotes on the snake belonging to last week’s gorgon antagonist and wonders why the snake isn’t feeling happy.
Cas then moves on to the still-munching Dean, who seems to be the only one holding up well after the slaughter by Michael of the hunters. Dean, whose appetite and indifference is more annoying than friendly in this episode, tells a still grieving Sam (Jared Padalecki) that he can’t put up with another hunt, after his little brother makes it clear he’s off to the hunt with or without Dean; Sam’s tortured by visions of the corpses belonging to Maggie and the fallen hunters.
Castiel decides to tag along with Sam, not wanting his buddy to be alone in his process of grieving, while relaying his other buddy Dean to look after Jack. Dean, again exhibiting uncharacteristic indifference, isn’t too happy to spend time with the brooding Jack, but complies as he’s had experience with soulless Sam.
Castiel, who’s been playing the straight man for some episodes now, falls back into the weirdo role when he mistakes the store clerk’s word play for something else entirely, and he and Sam head off to the nearby town where the blown-up head dude had come from. When they arrive, they have the same reaction Marty McFly had in Back to the Future as the town resembles something out of a ‘50s comic book. Cas likens it to The Saturday Evening Post, which he admits he likes to look at while everyone’s asleep (remember how poor Cas doesn’t sleep?). Sam and Castiel pick up the first pasty-looking couple they find on the street to question of the happenings, only to find the straight-combed Justin Smith and his wife haven’t ever heard of what a cell phone is, much less offer something of substance.
Upon the couples’ suggestion, Cas and Sam head to the milkshake shop Harrington’s and are served complimentary shakes by Sunny – the girl we saw romancing the blown-up head dude earlier on, although she seems much more smiley now. The owner of the shop, who somehow already knows about Sam and Castiel’s FBI endeavors, suggests the guy died of an aneurysm. Castiel corrects him by pointing out the dude’s head straight up exploded “like a ripe melon on the sun” – looks like Castiel’s making up for lost time with his sassiness in this episode.
The two are then guided to the boarding house where the victim had stayed, and by this point Sam is very much making himself at home. The matron, who doesn’t seem to like Cas very much, explains the house only rents to young men because young women living alone evidently don’t have morals – yep, definitely a town from the ‘50s. Cas’ search of the room results in some, ahem, R-rated love letters from Sunny she’d sent to her lover. Sam, surprisingly, suggests they delay the search and take it easy for the rest of the night. He’s really excited about having the pot roast dinner the matron has prepared, although he reasons he’s worn out from all the hunting.
Remember the straight-combed Justin Smith? He suddenly recalls he does know what cell phones are and becomes frantic with worry over where he is; he’s met with a blown-up head fate for his troubles.
In the morning, Castiel is befuddled as he can’t find Sam, more so because whoever he asks for Sam keeps sending him from one place to another. Everywhere Cas goes, people pretend they haven’t heard of Sam until he presses on and tries to get them to stop being so smiley all the time. After breaking through Sunny, Cas is redirected toward the house of Justin Smith. There, his widow’s also all smiles as she can’t recall who Sam is at all and insists Justin’s still with us. Castiel’s amazing description of Sam, “The tall man; Beautiful hair?” doesn’t budge either.
The widow finally offers something other than a smile when Cas almost sits on Justin’s favorite chair as she screams bloody murder for him not to. She goes back to laughing once she introduces Justin, who we’re flabbergasted to find out is now Sam – full with horn-rimmed glasses and a cardigan; oh, and let’s not forget a ponytail to boot. Sam, or Justin, is very Steve Rogers-esque as he kicks Cas out for using the H-E-double-hockey-sticks word in his house. In his words the proper term would be to “skedaddle.”
Castiel traces the change back to Sunny, after surmising it must have been the shakes he and Sam had that made Sam go all ponytail-y, and confronts her about it. In a badass Cas moment, we see him bring on the angel mojo as he threatens to rip the knowledge out of Sunny’s head, only for old-man Harrington to bring in himself flanked with a couple of thugs – as well as Ponytail Sam – to admit he’s the one behind it all.
Harrington explains the town had been on its dying legs when the mill had shut down, and after the death of his wife, his random wish that the town would be restored away from the modern world is fulfilled. Realizing he could do whatever he wanted in this town, Harrington ensured everything was “perfect” and remade everything. The ones who did recall stuff were met with the head-popping fate. Sunny, who is Harrington’s daughter, flees after hearing this and is given chase by her dad.
Meanwhile Cas, who wasn’t affected by Harrington’s powers because he’s an angel, makes short work of the thugs and easily beats everyone to submission. Ponytail Sam pins him down after Cas refuses to hurt him and they scuffle with the angel blade in Ponytail Sam’s hand. Castiel reaches out to his friend by telling him he knows what it’s like to fail as a leader, which brings Sam out of his reverie. They confront Harrington outside, who is convinced he’s God in this town. Cas, again comically missing the point, corrects Harrington by telling him “God has a beard!”
Somehow, Harrington flings Castiel away and attempts to blow Sam’s head open until he’s overpowered by Sunny, who also has the same powers. Sunny traps her father in his own world inside his head where he can be happy with his thoughts. We don’t find out what happens to the town after that as the action ends there.
On the other side of the story, Dean – whose main role in this episode is to be comic relief – suggests they feed Jack’s pet snake some bacon to lift his mood (Oh, Dean, what is with you and bacon?), as he’s freaked out that Jack intends to feed live mice to the snake. Dean decides it’s better to take Jack and the snake for a road trip, and they head to Donatello’s. Donny boy is doing much better now and offers Jack advice as to how to deal with life sans a soul.
Donatello explains how he feels nothing after Amara ate his soul; empathy, pity, humanity, all these have no place in him now. Jack tells him while he doesn’t feel nothing, he’s definitely not the same he once was. Donatello advises Jack to have a mantra: WWWD – What would the Winchesters Do?
According to Jack, Sam and Dean are the best people he knows (what about Daddy Cas, though?), and Donatello’s suggestion is that this will give Jack a moral compass to fall back on. Although it seems like the advice worked, Donatello tells Dean that Jack is the most powerful being in the universe, and there’s no telling what he’ll do with that advice. Back in the bunker, the heroes regroup and Dean teases Sam about his time in a cardigan – did we really expect Cas not to tell his bro Dean about this development?
Dean, though, notes that Sam was genuinely happy in his reverie, and Sam admits it was good not to think of his guilt for once. He hates it at the bunker now as it constantly reminds him of the group he lost, but promises he’ll be okay because the bunker is “home”.
Jack, thinking of the WWWD motto, figures that the snake isn’t happy because he misses his friend. So, Jacky boy’s solution is to send the snake to heaven to be reunited with the gorgon. The same gorgon who gouged people’s eyes out and fed on them, mind you. Regardless, Jack turns the snake into ash, thinking his way works. Cas watches from the doorway solemnly, knowing Jack is going down a dark path.
It’s always great to see Jared Padalecki portray someone other than Sam whether it is Lucifer, Soulless Sam, Leviathan, or Gadreel; so, it was fun watching him be Justin Smith for this episode, and Sam and Castiel’s adventure was one for the books. We did see character development for Jack and Sam as they both coped with the loss of friends and Jack’s soul.
With the season finale right around the corner, Supernatural’s definitely going to kick further into gear in the coming weeks.
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