A fun episode, but a strange return after a long (and uncontrollable) hiatus
- 🔪Some A+ fingernail trauma.
- 🔪Happy Winchesters!
- 🔪Dean makes Jack a cake.
- 🔪Sammy got some!
- 🔪They give the nice lady a picture of her tormenters as a farewell?
- 🔪A fun episode, but not the strongest narrative return.
This post contains spoilers for Supernatural.
It's been some time since we saw the Winchester brothers. When we last saw Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), they had just been pulled from the rift. All the demons have been released from hell, and the world has just as many monsters, but the boys have bigger fish to fry. They're going to hunt Chuck (Rob Benedict) and kill him before he destroys the world. God trying to end the world somehow makes perfect sense for the final season of this crazy, wonderful ride.
Before the longest mid-season finale ever, Castiel (Misha Collins) learned the location of the Occultum from Ruby (Genevieve Padalecki). What's the Occultum? In perfect Supernatural form, we're not sure yet! We just know it's critical to kill Chuck. Cas successfully hunts it down, Jack (Alexander Calvert) swallows it and takes a quick trip to the Garden of Eden where he regains the ability to feel. Sounds innocuous enough, but if you've watched more than a couple of episodes of the series you know that feeling in this storyline isn't always the best thing.
Cue the return of the series, where Sam and Dean find the bunker on the fritz while they’re dealing with the equivalent of a teenager learning how to deal with a lot of heavy shit. Using the standard Dean Winchester™ logic, Dean resets the bunker’s console, releasing a wood nymph named Mrs. Butters. What comes next is a charming montage of holiday celebrations, birthdays, and monster hunting. Of course, happiness never lasts long for Sam and Dean.
Jack catches their helpful and loving new housekeeper digging through archives that end up being her old case files. Mrs. B wasn’t lying about being a part of the Men of Letters, but her role with the group wasn’t just baking cookies. After witnessing the woman who had shown him such kindness rip an interrogation subject’s head off (it’s fine, he was a Nazi) in the reel from her file, Jack struggles with what to do.
He doesn’t have to toil long. Mrs. B wanted him to find the tapes so he could know exactly what she’s capable of. What she didn’t anticipate – being new to this whole Family Business situation – was Dean choosing Jack’s side when she told him to go downstairs and kill him, or both boys standing in her way when she went full red alert.
As is his custom, Sam helps calm the situation by talking Mrs. Butters down. By helping her understand that the previous Men of Letters abused her and lied to her about why she needed to leave her forest so she would be their lackey, he’s able to pull her back from the edge (and away from Jack’s proverbial throat). With that, their friend and brief enemy finally gets what she’s always wanted: she gets to go back to her forest.
“Last Holiday” is a bit of an odd return for Supernatural, but given the state of things it’s difficult to be too hard on it. The thing is, it’s a fun episode! I’ll never be against those when it comes to this series. It just wasn’t the strongest narrative return after a six-month hiatus. All the same, the highs were all delightful. Dean and Jack’s heart-to-heart was earned and frank, and getting to see the family have a moment to celebrate holidays and enjoy a home cooked meal every now and again was utterly charming.
Was it strange that they explained to their would-be murderer that the people who made her the way she is did so by abusing her and then gave her a picture of them as a farewell gift? Absolutely! But hey, we take the happy endings where we can get them in this series. Especially while it looks like hell will continue to unleash in the next episode.
Amelia is an entertainment Streaming Editor at IGN, which means she spends a lot of time analyzing and editing stories on things like Loki, Peacemaker, and The Witcher. In addition to her features and editorial work, she’s also a member of both the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice. A deep love of film and television has kept her happily in the entertainment industry for 7 years.
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