Jack Kline. Looks like a kitten, has the capabilities of a supernatural honey badger. So just how dangerous is he? That’s the question, isn’t it? Read on, friends!
After an opening where someone ties the cookie baking Donatello down and injects him with…something…we cut to Dean and I have to say, watching him try to set up the game “Mousetrap” was entertaining and adorable, especially when Mary confirms it was his favorite when he was just a Weechester. I love the idea of a Winchester game night, with popcorn and snacks, and I was suitably disappointed when the news of Donatello interrupted it.
Also? Jack’s teenaged temperament when Mary tried to ask him how he was doing was so on point, even if it was a bit rude. (Side note: I agree with Dean. Pineapple on pizza with red sauce? Just wrong.)
Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, RUBY!
Anael is back? Yay! I like Danneel Ackles in general and I like Anael too. When Cas offers her lightly cursed ruby earrings in exchange for help contacting God, I wondered exactly how much help she would be—until Cas reminded us that she used to work with Joshua and Joshua was God’s main confidant. (I did forget that Joshua was dead. How did he die again? Remind me in the comments…)
Anael knows that Cas needs God to help our soul depleted Jack, and she wonders why he doesn’t tell the Winchesters of Jack’s current state. She agrees to help Cas the only way she can—by trying to help him find the conduit that Joshua used to contact God one last time. In exchange for the pretties, of course.
Sam is clearly irritated when he finds Dean and Mary have hit the road alone (wait until he finds out who they’re dealing with…) and figures out that Donatello’s plea for help is in ancient Hebrew.
Dean and Mary talk in the Impala as they drive, and Mary’s confessional about how she can be withdrawn and hard but she is grateful for every day she spends with Sam and Dean sure feels like a setup for her to be hurt or killed. The old TV trope—remind us how much we love ‘em before they snatch them away. And Dean’s need to comfort her? Just reminds us how badly he will be hurt if that happens.
Sam’s face when he figures out where Donatello’s message comes from? So sweet. (I love how happy he gets, even briefly, when solving a puzzle.) And when Dean and Mary show up to find none other than Nick (GROAN) we see the devil in the details. Nick claims he has poisoned Donatello and that he did it to get their attention. Nick wants something from the Winchesters. But what?
Cas and Anael find Methuselah, who runs a pawn shop that looks like the set of Hoarders except slightly better organized and without the cat skeletons. He tells Cas and Anael that they will find Joshua’s “bat phone” and they’ll know it when they see it.
The whole search is a little comical and a little bittersweet as they discuss why Anael thinks God doesn’t care anymore. Anael shows more depth, even as Cas questions her loneliness and defends the concept of Chuck, and she calls him out on not wanting to tell Sam and Dean that Jack’s soul is gone. But they do, indeed, find Joshua’s symbol—it’s the same as the Samulet! Joshua forged it after the fall. Unfortunately it doesn’t work, but Cas and Anael part sort-of-friends anyway.
Sam’s reaction to Nick is so complex, even though it seems really simple. He hates what Nick has done, he feels guilt for letting Nick have a second chance, and the sight of Lucifer’s vessel reminds him of so much pain and suffering. Jared Padalecki plays all of that so well in nuanced anger and frustration as he questions Dean (who is trying to keep him at bay) and Mary about what Nick wants.
Dean holds Sam back to keep Nick alive, leading Mary to try to absolve Sam and tell him he’s a good man that she is proud of. And there’s more of it—more resolution for Mary. And that can’t be good.
Jack, Be Nimble
Dean tries to beat the info out of Nick to no avail, and Mark Pellegrino as Nick does do a good job of taunting him as he does. Nick demands to see Jack and Mary and Dean are against it, but Sam says they have no choice. Jack wants to help his friend, Donatello, so he’s in.
Of course, it goes poorly at first—Jack even head butts Nick in frustration with Nick’s verbal barrage about his lack of a soul, bleeding from the nose all over Nick’s shirt. But then, as he does when he shouldn’t, he uses his forbidden powers to get Nick to talk.
Sam stays in Baby with Nick, while Dean goes to administer the antidote to Donatello. Back at the HuntCave, Jack figures out that it wasn’t poison Donatello was drugged with—it was angelic grace. Then all the stuff goes down.
Dean gets tackled in the warehouse by demons and Nick gets the jump on Sam by getting out of the handcuffs the boys locked him in (And this I had a hard time buying because actually? Handcuffs are truly hard to unlock.) Nick confesses that he was trying to contact Lucifer (who looks like the Terminator, let’s be real) via Donatello to bring him back from the Empty (he got the angel grace from demons, again, a concept I do not understand—where did they get it?)
Dean handily dispatches his demons as Sam and Nick duke it out, Sam looking to kill Nick before relenting just in time to get smashed in the head by a rock in Nick’s hand. Nick hits him and chokes him before Sam gets into the car and lays on the horn to draw Dean.
When Dean gets out there Nick is gone and Sam is beyond hurt, lying on the ground with his head bashed in, barely conscious. And we know it’s bad by Dean’s expression and the way he talks to Mary. Dean rarely looks this scared.
Nick burns his shirt with Jack’s blood on it (so that’s why he needed to talk to Jack!) triggering the boy to fall over in pain. Jack feels linked to where Nick is as Nick starts his summoning/resurrection spell. He needs to use his powers to get him and Mary there to stop Nick. “Do it,” Mary says and I gotta wonder—what is the criteria for Jack to go yellow eyes? Because it seems like she’s opening a door she won’t be able to close.
Nick does manage to summon T2 with wings—I mean, Lucifer—and is just about to absorb him when Jack and Mary appear and Jack sends Lucifer back to the Empty. Nick flips out—even more so when Jack breaks his fingers grotesquely and then burns him alive as Mary shouts at him to stop.
“Mary?” Jack asks in a little voice, and it’s clear Mary is afraid of him. And, like the mama she is, worried sick. “I had to,” Jack says before Mary sends Jack to help Sam, and again—be careful of playing with those powers, Mary. You cannot put Jack back in the box.
Dean leaning over Sam, trying to get him to stay awake and count, well, that was heartbreaking to watch. It was even more brutal when Sam started to tell Dean how he always put Sam first, his whole life, as though he were saying goodbye. Sam loses consciousness, maybe dying, and Dean begins to panic a little, and we’re reminded of that old adage once spoken—“There ain’t no me if there ain’t no you.” Jack appears, clearly worried about Sam, and I wonder if that means there’s a little soul left after all, although I guess one could argue that the soulless Donatello is caring, too. Jack tries to play it all off as though everything is fine, and maybe it is, but it certainly is not.
When Jack goes back to Mary she tries to tell him how what he did was not okay, even if Nick was a bad person. Jack is clearly confused, adamant that he did right. Mary continues to try to assure Jack, and then tries to help him as his irritation causes him to defend himself. Mary is gentle—loving—but Jack is only worried that she is going to tell Sam and Dean what he did. And then? When she all but says she will? He grows extremely agitated, storming off saying “Leave me alone”, over and over. Which Mary should have done. Because as she pursues him, Jack grows more and more upset, and then finally turns his yellow eyes on her, doing something we cannot see on-screen. We cut to black and hear Jack’s sad, breathless little whisper of “Mary?” and we wonder—by Chuck, Jack, what have you done?
Only three more episodes of this, the penultimate season, left to go! See you next time, for episode eighteen of this season, “Absence”.