The season is struggling with where it was forced to pick back up do to COVID, but "Gimme Shelter" is another fun entry into the series.
- 🔪Fun slasher contraptions.
- 🔪Cas talking about blind faith.
- 🔪Jack talking about his! three! dads!
- 🔪Dean and Amara's entire heart-to-heart
- 🔪It's the end of the world (again) and there's just no oomph. We've done this a lot, sure, but given where the season was forced to pick up again, there's no punch.
This post contains spoilers for Supernatural.
Check out last week's review here.
We’re headed to slasher town on this week’s episode of Supernatural. “Gimme Shelter” splits up Team Free Will in two directions: Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) go after a potential Amara (Emily Swallow) lead in Atlantic City while Castiel (Misha Collins) and Jack (Alexander Calvert) check out a murder teddy. As is expected from the show at this point, there are plenty of feelings along the way.
The boys don’t make it to Atlantic City before they run into Amara. Dean’s thinking prime rib, but she’s got her heart set in pierogi. Their meeting doesn’t go great, and that’s even without Sam and Dean admitting that they intend to off her when they take out Chuck (Rob Benedict) to maintain cosmic balance. She acknowledges that her brother’s a dick – but he’s still her brother. Amara is pretty set in her refusal, but Dean has a question for her before they head home with their tails between their legs.
Though it infuriates Dean, Amara’s answer as to why she brought Mary back to life is as good as any. She tells him she did so for two reasons. The first was to free him from the myth of Mary Winchester, what his life could have been had she been in it, and to show that the real woman was so much better because she was real. The second was to help free him from his wrath. You can imagine how well he takes that. Though his greatest flaw, Dean’s rage is what convinces Amara to consider their offer before it’s all said and done.
Their heart-to-heart is one of the strongest moments of the episode. There's a strange mutual respect between these two, despite one being a cosmic being and the other one managing to be a perpetual thorn in the side of anyone even related to "cosmic." Both are stuck in their ways, but Amara's eventual decision to think about trusting Dean is a curious one. It's also a little frustrating because he looks her in the eye and says he'd never hurt her and they're definitely gonna kill her.
Cas and Jack’s story is less pertinent to the plot until the last few moments of the episode, but is still that good kind of Supernatural drama mixed with some ace commentary. Their investigation leads them to a church congregation where members of the off-beat flock are being picked off one-by-one. There’s some good slasher fun, featuring the idea of a murder teddy, a months-old corpse, a finger-copping contraption, and a gut stab from a “friend.” Really, the best thing that comes out of this plot is Cas’ discussing faith - and how Jack helped him find it again – and sweet, lost Jack lovingly talking about his three dads.
Oh, and there’s the minor tidbit that Jack is going to die when he takes out Chuck and Amara. He’s essentially a bomb.
Here’s the thing: if you’ve watched this show for more than a season, you know that there’s a whole lot of lying to one another and a whole lot of bad that could have probably been avoided had folks just told the truth. Because of this, long-time viewers probably had a massive dose of PTSD when Jack asked Cas not to tell Sam and Dean about the inevitability of his death. However, fifteen whole seasons into the series our boys might be … learning? By the time “Gimme Shelter” comes to a close, Cas is standing in front of Dean ready to spill the beans. Growth, boys and girls! We have growth!
Supernatural is in a tough spot right now. With their mid-season finale already taking place in January, there was no real narrative way to come back with episode 14 and on with a bang. We’ve been away from the story for seven months, and now we’re digging through your standard mid-season episodes. They’re lovely episodes! They just don’t have the meat to get folks excited about the season again, and that’s no one’s fault. They’re stuck in a weird situation with no real solutions other than to keep chugging along, but it’s something that has to be acknowledged all the same.
With that said, we’ve gotten plenty of story tidbits sprinkled throughout what have been two fun return episodes. Midseason fare or no, we’ve had peeled off fingernails and shut-in wood nymphs, a fun finger chopping contraption, and great commentary on the dangers of blind faith and empty familial devotion. Weird spot or no, these Wayward Sons are still doin’ alright.
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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