Sunday, 30 April 2017

Review: Supernatural 12x19 "The Future" - by sweetondean

Wowzers! So much happened in “The Future” So much! And so much of it hurt like hell. I found this episode so painful. The betrayal and the shocks, and the knowledge that no matter how good his intentions, Cas going against the boys is going to hurt them - and him, big time. I was left with a really uneasy feeling as to where we’re going, and how much pain there will be when we get there!

The opening scene of Kelly trying to take her life was seriously hard to watch. It was horrible and yet, strangely beautiful. Very nicely shot by director, Amanda Tapping. It reminded me of the painting The Death of Marat - one of my favourites - in its simple, powerful imagery. Kelly is stuck between heaven and hell, quite literally. Not knowing what her baby is or isn’t going to be, and not having anyone to help her, or listen to her. With Dagon filling her head with stories of the chaos her child with reign down upon the earth, and being trapped with certain death looming and no way to guide her child to goodness as opposed to evil, Kelly saw no other recourse than death for both her and the Nephilim growing inside her. Of course we all knew that the Nephilim would not allow its host to die, at least not before it was born. If the Nephilim is already so powerful it can resurrect Kelly regardless of all that blood in the bathtub (!), it certainly must be powerful enough to make Kelly feel however it wants her to feel - to feel that the Nephilim’s soul is good. This is not to say the Nephilim will be evil. We don’t know…and that’s the really interesting thing about this whole Nephilim deal, we don’t know! Lucifer didn’t start off evil, he was God’s favourite, but where the other angels accepted their Father’s rules and decisions, Lucifer said he would not bow to the hairless apes, and so was tossed out of heaven. Death said that it was the Mark (of Cain) - the lock to keep the Darkness in - which God gave to Lucifer, that corrupted Lucifer. So this poses the question, was it nature or lack of nurture that made the angel Lucifer become the Devil? What would have happened if he was never entrusted with the Mark?

The angels believe that the child will be evil, not just because it’s Nephilim, but because it’s Lucifer’s Nephilim - and he scares the shit out of them. The angels call the Nephilim abominations, they are essentially a human with the powers of an angel, which obviously the angels would not want. So there’s this assumption of predetermined evil, and the only “people” telling us this are the angels… Who’s to say the angels are right…or in this case, righteous. A baby monster is just a baby until it does something monstrous. A major theme of this season has been around what constitutes being a monster. Maybe in this case it will prove to be the angels that are the monsters and not the Nephilim.

I’m extremely concerned Cas is making the same mistake we have seen him make time and again, putting all his eggs in the totally wrong basket. I’m equal parts understanding and disappointed. I understand he feels responsibility for Kelly and what is happening now. Responsible that Lucifer got out of the of the cage in the first palace. Responsible for Kelly being out in the world, still preggers and in the grip of a Prince of Hell. I understand he looks and sees only zeros on his score card. I get how he sees no worth in himself or his value to the brothers, he’s been slapped down by the Universe over and over, so I totally understand where he’s at self esteem wise. I also get that he wants to protect the Winchesters and spare them a horrible and impossible decision. He has called them family, professed that he loves them both, and has made it clear that he thinks the world needs them, and I think the latter above his affection for Sam and Dean could be partly what’s driving him now - that and his need to redeem himself. There is an arrogance that comes with this, trying to protect someone against their wishes or needs, business, at least protecting those as capable as Sam and Dean. The brothers are highly capable and an incredible asset to Castiel in every way, not just through their strength and bravery, but their knowledge, and their humanity. They look at situations with a different eye, and Cas misses a lot of what they see. Cas is an angel and always will be. Despite how much time he has spent on earth, that seems to be something that never really, completely changes. He needs the brothers by his side, and like Dean said, he does not need to be their babysitter!

We’ve seen similar protective behaviours be detrimental to the brothers in the past, as one lies and manipulates the other under the guise of keeping his brother safe. The same thing has happened with Mary, when she lied to them about the BMoL, because she wants to keep them safe - look how that hurt and infuriated the boys. Cas has been with these men for eight years, he’s seen the angry, hurtful outcomes of all of this. He’s also seen them save the world more than once, he’s seen them stand up to the worst of evils and win, he’s seen them be brave and smart. They've stood toe to toe with Lucifer just as much as he has - and have actually survived it much better! Like I said, I’m equal parts understanding of Cas’ emotional plight, and disappointed in his ability to learn! That he would take this road after Dean said to him, “You, me and Sam, we’re just better together” is damn heartbreaking.

I think Dean had every right to be mad at Cas, and every right to express that, but what was great and what was reflective of this season and the wonderful emotional openness and availability we’ve been enjoying in the boys’ relationship, and particularly in Dean, is that we also saw where Dean’s anger came from. You get angry with people when they unnecessarily worry you, and Cas worried Sam and Dean. He made no effort to contact them or let them know that he was alive and fine. Dean’s right, that is not okay. It's not okay to put them through that. It would have taken him a second to text them before he hopped into the sandbox. He wouldn’t have to tell them anything, just that he’d be off the radar for a while and will let them know when he's back, as soon as he’s able. That’s all. But Cas chose to say nothing, rather than upset the Winchesters, because he knows chances are they wouldn’t be very happy with him falling off the radar and in with the angels again. So rather than displease them, he went “dark”. Then lied about having no signal!

Regardless of all of this, and regardless of how upset Dean was, Dean was still able to open up and share why he was so mad at Cas. He told Cas it was because they were worried about him, and he asked him not to do that to them again. This was another lovely example of the shift that has taken place this season in how Dean deals with his emotions. Sure Dean was shitty, and made sure Cas knew that in no uncertain terms, before storming out of the room, but given a minute, he took the time to explain to Cas why he was angry, and then even took the time to try to make his friend feel better. He was open and vulnerable and compassionate. Cas talked about getting a win for Sam and Dean - and for himself, and Dean told him that he’s not the only one batting zero. He’s not alone. They've all struck out.

Then even after Cas manipulated a moment that reflected their friendship - the mix tape gift - in order to steal the Colt, even after Kelly and him went whizzing off in the Impala, Dean still found a way to try to understand where he was coming from, saying to Sam that he thought Cas was doing what he’s doing because he's so desperate for a win he can't see straight. Dean must have been horrified, and embarrassed by the loss of the Colt and that it was his friend, who he trusted, who tricked him and stole it right from under his nose (or pillow as it turns out), but even after all of that...Dean still tried.

The emotional growth of Dean this season has been an delight. Seeing Dean being thoughtful and open with feelings, and not automatically shut down and shut out, is awesome. I hope he continues to be like this, for his own emotional wellbeing, and because I think his willingness to see other's points of view, and to be forthright with his emotions has been a big part of why the brothers have been so unified and harmonious this season. But it has come at a cost for Dean, because there is no doubt that this being more emotionally available has caused him pain. First with his mum and the hurt that came from her lies, and now with Cas...several times this episode.

All this made everything that happened between Cas and the brothers all the more painful to watch. I had major ouchy feels.

If Cas was so sure he knew what the Nephilim was going to be, it makes you wonder why he wouldn’t even consider that the visions, the emotions being communicated to him by the Nephilim, may be a manipulation. There was nothing in him that even hesitated that the future he was shown was real. That what he felt was real. He went from the kid has to die, to the kid must live without even a second thought about it. For all we know, the Nephilim may do anything in order to ensure its own survival. If it is already powerful enough to show Cas and Kelly the future, to transmit mojo through them to torch Dagon, it’s powerful enough to show them whatever it damn well wants. What they are seeing and feeling may well be the truth, maybe the Nephilim is good…but how can you tell, how can they tell? How can they know that their feelings are not being created, that even believing in those feelings isn’t a manipulation? Or is the simple fact that Cas doesn’t even doubt these visions or feelings, an indicator that he’s no longer in control of what he believes? Oh Cas...

The other fly in the ointment is Lucifer. Lucifer is intent on his baby being born, so there is no way that he’s going to let the Nephilim go to heaven. He will do whatever he can from where he is to ensure his child’s safety. We’ve seen Lucifer send visions to Sam, because the cage was cracked. We’ve seen him manipulate Sam with these visions, making Sam believe the visions are good, that the visions were from God. We’ve also seen Lucifer communicate with Dagon telepathically. He knew when Kelly and the baby were no longer with the demon, and he was able to punish Dagon by just yelling - which was super cool by the way - when Lucifer drops the campy snarkiness, he’s damn scary. So how can we be sure that it’s not Lucifer showing Cas and Kelly what he wants them to see, feel and believe, in order to ensure the safety of his kid. Remember Cas thinks Lucifer is out of the picture, safely locked away in the cage, so this scenario wouldn’t even occur to Cas! And just as an aside…how weak are the angels. Wouldn’t you think Calvin would be willing to die to ensure that Dagon does not get her hands on the Nephilim? Geesh. Angels.

Of course, the brothers also have no clue about Lucifer, they are purely trying to save a mum and kid, thinking the massively evil dad is out of the picture and locked away. Bom-bom!

I love the brothers’ insistence on finding a different way to deal with the Lucifer’s baby momma drama. I love Sam’s complex maths as he tries to work out the birth date, and I love that Dean called him “beautiful mind”! I loved that when Dean stormed off to his room, he still cracked open his laptop and kept on searching and researching. I loved that he tried to make Sam get some sleep and that when Sam had his brainstorm about the grace extraction, it was hard to tell who was more excited, Sam or Dean! I think Sam was excited and Dean was excited and damn proud and Sam was stoked that Dean was excited and damn proud! I love me some happy moments, smiling brothers.

They’re just so damn tight this season and I adore it. Everything they do is together. Always on the same page. They work so damn well together. Bouncing ideas as much as fighting side by side. I freakin’ love it. Hot damn indeed, Dean.

But Sam and Dean put up with a hell of a lot in this episode. I’m not sure either of them is going to be able to forgive being brain zapped asleep and left, defenceless, at heaven’s sandpit. So many things want them dead. How could Cas risk their lives like that? For someone trying to keep them safe, he is literally risking their lives leaving them like that. I was screaming! First it was Cas not telling them where he was, then manipulating them so he could steal the Colt, then taking off in the car (which wasn’t his fault, but they don’t know that), and then leaving them out cold and alone, unprotected and at the doorway of heaven where at the very least, there are a shit tonne of angels who really don’t like them and would be quite happy to see them dead. Man! That was kind of the last straw.

It will be interesting to see how Sam and Dean deal with this round of betrayal. Will that understanding of Deans, withstand his friend zapping him and being partly responsible for the destruction of the Colt. I mean, had Cas not taken the gun, he would not have set in motion the events that wound up destroying it. 

The Colt. Gone. *sigh* That was a hard one. Dean’s face as Dagon melted it. That noise he was making? Yeah, I was making that noise too.

But the thing is…I guess I get why the Colt had to go, if it's indeed gone.

Don't get me wrong. I screamed and felt like crying. I love that thing. Dean was so damn excited to have it back. The happiness in his face when he was holding it again. The way he made pew pew noises while pointing it. It was beautiful. I'm sad.’s like how the show continually powers down Cas or puts him at odds with the brothers, because you can’t have an all powerful angelic friend at your beck and call and still have a level of peril. So maybe the same goes for the Colt? You can’t have a gun that can kill all things in Creation bar 5 to pull out whenever you need it I guess. That’s too damn easy. And the Winchester's story is never, ever easy. As much as I love the Colt because of its history and its place in the Winchester mythology, I also understand why we can’t have Sam or Dean pulling it out to kill all the things all the time. Sadly, the boys have to work harder for their wins. So bye bye Colt, we love you, you’re awesome and you were an incredible object within this show. We will always remember how you put Azazel down. You are our favourite gun. I kinda wished you stayed lost.

And Dean never even got to shoot it.... *sniffle*

I hope they take the bits home...

Andrew Dabb gave us a quote this week from Lord Byron, “The best prophet of the future, is the past”.  If we’re to look to the past to see our future, holy shit, we’re in for some trouble that’s for sure! Is Cas making another catastrophic error of judgement that will threaten all of man kind, as has happened in the past? More than once.... He’s on his own again. He’s broken trust with the boys again. These are mistakes he’s made before that have caused no end of damage. I think there was a reason Dean said in this episode, “You, me and Sam, we’re just better together”. It seemed like a portent of things to come. Cas out on his own...following his own mission...yep, that never winds up good.

Like I said at the beginning, I found this episode pretty hurty. It was all the stuff with Cas and the boys, and the continual lying to them when they just wanted to trust in him and believe him, and that horrible scamming of Dean to get to the Colt... That was really harsh. Like heartbreakingly harsh. It's like the brothers kept getting slapped in the face. I kind of think they didn't know which way was up by the end of it and I found that super painful to watch. I just wanted Cas to stop! I was left feeling all out sorts because of it!

Oh and guys, you know what I couldn't help but thinking...the BMoL heard everything they discussed in the bunker.... Shit.

But...mechanic Dean...😍

Only four episodes left in the season and I have no clue what's going to happen! How exciting! Next week’s episode is directed by that tricky King of Cons, Mr Richard Speight Jnr., who I happen to be seeing next weekend, along with Jensen and Jared at the Australian convention, All Hell Breaks Loose 8. The show is wrapped and the cast and crew are now on a well deserved break for the next couple of months - which means the Js can come to Aussie!

So at some point, I will see you next week, after the con shenanigans! Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts.


  1. Amara was dark (and ate souls) from the start. By the end, though, she turned out a poor misunderstood girl who just needed care and some good advice to stop doing big evil things to the universe. Now Nephilim can go the same path - start bad and grow good. I say, let's not lose hope! By the way, what would you say to the idea of the twins-nephilims?

  2. The brotherly unity between Sam and Dean only seems to become stronger with every betrayal they get from other family members (Mary and now Cas), which is good for our Winchester feelings (but how infinitely sad at the same time).
    I liked the episode, it drove things on for sure (sometimes too much so, pushing aside rhime and reason- that whole "stealing the Inpala"- scene in the coutyard? Ouch, writers!), it had beautiful (yet, as you said, sometimes very painful) dialogue, managed to give words and great images to the deep dilemma Kelly is in, and also to Cas' issues (if an angel's learning curve is THAT low, it's no wonder they have to live for thousands of years to make any progress at all).
    Lucifer's short scene was damn impressive, and yes, it's good to see the powerful, scary monster behind the snarky, manipulative bastard from time to time!
    I think the whole fandom cried out "nooooooo!" together with Dean when Dagon melted the colt. Made me wonder why it has been kept by her brother for so long, if Princes of Hell were able to destroy it so easily? That's some collector's arrogance there!
    The question of the Nephilim's powers probably has been answered this episode- they are HUGE. Turning people, angels and events around like that while not even born- I can see why the angels are pissing their pants, excuse my French! The way Kelly outright refused to even think about the plan Sam/Dean had come up with (and not easily either!) - wow. Someone is pulling the strings from the inside, I'd say...
    I loved the imagery and the lighting, Tapping/Ladouceur created such beautiful pictures (and yes, "Death of Marat" was the first thing that came to mind when I saw Kelly hanging in the bathtub like that!). Sometimes the images were so interesting (all those shots through railings and ornaments, wow!) they were distracting me from the actual story, but sure make for several even more interesting rewatches. In that scene where Sam and Dean lie unconscious on the playground, the image was so artfully composed - wow. And it looks like Baby is the only one watching over her boys ;)
    Guess we're all biting our nails for the last few episodes (same procedure as every year...). I hope Show won't crash and burn our poor souls by annhiliating all those good brotherly Winchester vibes the so carefully built up through the season - hiatus is loooooong, and as emotionally invested as we are in these fictional characters, the pain is always real enough to last for months! (But when has Show ever let us off easily...).
    Thanks for a great review, Amy, have a wonderful time with the cast at AHBL (I'm heading out to Asylum 18 and Jib soon, yay!)

    1. Thank you! Have a fun time at Asylum and JIB!