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Sweatpants & TV | Supernatural, Season 13, Episode 4: “The Big Empty”

Oh, Dean. How can you resist the adorable that is Jack? Sam’s going to try to make them connect by putting Jack to work, and their “little brother” is all too eager to please.

Jack Out of the Box

Dean’s found a case—a vic killed by his already dead wife—and Sam wants to take Jack along on the job. “Adventures in babysitting the Antichrist? No thank you,” Dean says. (Speaking of which, what ever happened to the real Antichrist, Jesse Turner from Season Five? Maybe he can come back and he and Jack can be buddies. “It’s the Jack and Jesse Show! Special guest? Lucifer!” Sorry. I digress.)

Dean reminds Sam that Jack is dangerous and Mom is dead, and they need to move on. Sam advocates for Jack once more. “Give him a chance. Please. For me,” Sam says, and since we know Dean will do anything for Sam, looks like Jack’s getting back in the backseat of Baby.

Saddle Up

Sam goes to talk to Jack, who is watching Clone Wars. Turns out Jack kind of hates Anakin, and Sam thinks that’s for the best. (Ha!) Sam invites Jack to the gig. After initially saying no, and letting Sam know that he is aware that Sam wants him to be an inter-dimensional can opener, Jack listens as Sam tells him he wants to save Mary, yes, but if he can’t he still cares about Jack. Sam tells Jack he wants his help, and asks him to come and be one of the good guys. With an adorably pleased and impish grin, Jack agrees.

Dig, Salt and Burn

Jack gets a crash course in ghosts versus revenants (which I would TOTALLY watch, were it some sort of fight club) before being told to stay in the car by a still visibly annoyed Dean. Jack, of course, doesn’t listen and goes into the crime scene, trying to help out. Sam shows him an EMF meter, which has no response. No ghost? Guess not. They go check the killer’s grave, and there she is, so not a revenant either. What the hell? After bickering over Jack’s parenting (and admiring his digging skills) the boys burn the body anyway just to be sure.

Back in Black

Cas wanders The Big Empty, calling for help (kudos to me for not calling it the Upside Down as I am still on a post Stranger Things 2 high.) A figure forms in the dark and that can’t be good. Turns out it is a cosmic entity with no name that takes on Cas’ appearance (and the voice of a 1920’s gangster/snotty English Butler/ big top circus ringmaster.) Misha Collins manages to keep his two performances very distinct as the entity tells Cas that this is the eternal resting place of angels and demons that pass on, but that he can’t sleep because Cas has woken up. Cas asks to be sent back, and he and the entity fight about it, sometimes literally, the entity showing Cas the highlight reel of his many failures. Cas warns him that he will keep the entity awake until they both go insane, which gives the entity pause.

Round Two

After another murder by a long dead relative, the boys start looking for connections. Dean sends Jack on a hot dog run because why not, and the boys look over the journals both vics were keeping as part of their work with a local grief counselor. Dean bites into a hot dog, blowing a stray onion off his lip with a trumpet and kudos to Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Alexander Calvert for not totally cracking up when he did. They decide to visit the counselor as patients, Jack adorably trying to act normal and failing. The counselor, Mia Vallens, asks them if they ever journal. “Our Dad did!” Sam says, and he ain’t lying. Despite themselves, they end up discussing whether Dean is processing his grief well, and Dean turns the tables on Sam, telling him that actually Sam is the one not dealing with the loss of Mary. Ackles’ and Padalecki’s chemistry is strong (as always) as they verbally tussle, Sam telling Dean that at least he had a relationship with Mary and how is he supposed to accept that he, Sam, will never have one now? He storms out, leaving Dean, Mia and Jack silent in his wake.

Under My Skin

Turns out Mia is an incredibly sloppy shapeshifter—Sam sees her shed skin, hair and teeth in her bathroom and man, shifters are so NASTY! As Mia still tries to shrink Dean’s head, Sam bursts in and calls her out. Before they can kill her, Mia confesses that she does shift to help her patients achieve closure but she didn’t kill any of them. Turns out it’s her ex, Buddy, another shifter that is a sadist. Dean and Jack go to see if Buddy is impersonating Mia’s assistant while Sam scans her security cameras for eye flare. Buddy has impersonated a patient, but when Sam goes to trace him the patient is already dead.

Just Like Mom’s

While Dean tries to phone Sam, Jack pleads with Mia to help him find the closure he needs by impersonating Kelly. (It’s really nice to see Kelly, actually. I kind of miss her.) Mia counsels Jack, who fears he is a monster. Mia, using Kelly’s face and speaking from experience, tells Jack that it doesn’t matter what he is, it matters what he does—that even monsters can help people. She has to believe that. It’s actually really touching, as Jack cries in her arms, and the only thing that breaks the spell is when we see that Dean has been taken over by a shifter. AGAIN. With no shirtless scene. DAMN IT!

Strip Down

Buddy rips off his Dean skin and GROSS! SO GROSS! He locks Dean to a fireplace and knocks Jack out. Dean tells Jack he needs to snap out of it and use his powers to save them. Jack, coming to, says he can’t. “Sam believes in you,” Dean says. “You gotta try.” And when Sam comes back and is about to be shot by Buddy, Jack’s anger and fear channel the way they need to and Jack manages to divert the bullet and toss Buddy into the wall like so much garbage, saving the Winchesters’ asses.

Bunker Down

Later, at the HuntCave, Dean praises Jack. Jack smiles, clearly loving the feeling of being the good guy. Dean apologizes to Sam for pushing him about Mom, and he apologizes for “being a dick, lately.” He also says that Sam might be right about Jack. Sam wonders if he is in denial about Mary. If she really is gone. “Don’t say that,” Dean says. “I need you to keep the faith. For both of us. ‘Cause right now I…right now I don’t believe in a damned thing.” And as Dean muses on his defeat, somewhere on earth, Castiel wakes up in a field and turns his face to the shining sun.

Looks like next time the boys are back to a crime fighting duo. So what’s up for hunter junior? Guess we’ll find out in episode five, “Advanced Thanatology.”

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About Barbara Doyle (165 Articles)

Barbara Sirois Doyle is a Contributing Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee. She is a writer, mixed-media artist, and, most important, a wife and mother to her boyos three. She is a voracious reader, unapologetic uber-geek, and lover of all types of music, from Public Enemy to Rachmaninoff. If she’s not watching Supernatural or Doctor Who, she is likely trolling the internet for amusing cat photos. She takes her coffee light with no sugar.

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