Sam and Dean venture to Alaska hoping to change their luck, while Castiel gets a call concerning Jack.
On Supernatural Season 15 Episode 11, Sam and Dean investigate Garth’s tip about a pool hall in Alaska that can make you lucky. Meanwhile, Castiel receives a call from a sheriff who claims to have information on Jack Kline.
The Winchester Skillset
Last week, Garth’s tip about Alaska was vague at best. Sam and Dean drive for miles and miles without knowing what it is they’re looking for, only where they’re going. It’s not until they reach a diner in town that they discover this magical place is a pool hall. Urban legends say that if you play, you can win yourself a lucky day. If you lose, you never return.
While Sam is still dubious, Dean is overjoyed by this information. If there’s one thing the Winchesters know how to do, it’s play pool. They’ve been hustling in pool halls for as long as they’ve been hunting, picking up scraps and cash on the road. Dean is ready to go in guns blazing and clean house. And honestly, I was just as confused by his enthusiasm as Sam was.
In the last episode, we saw Sam and Dean go up against a monster they couldn’t beat. Their punches did nothing. Their weapons malfunctioned or had little to no impact. It gave the impression that all those years of hunting monsters, their whole lives, Sam and Dean won purely because God wanted them to. Not because they’d garnered any experience or skill. When it came down to it, all that practice didn’t help them and they were left helpless.
I’m still not certain why playing pool is so different. It’s a skill they acquired to help them survive while hunting. The fact that they can’t win a fight but can still kill at pool seems incredibly inconsistent to me. For the purposes of this article, and my own sanity, I’m going to assume that Chuck’s “normality curse” wasn’t active in the pool hall because of the others powers at play.
Luck Be a Lady
The plot of Supernatural Season 15 Episode 11 isn’t all that different than Season 5 Episode 7, “The Curious Case of Dean Winchester.” Some supernatural entity is playing a dangerous game with a great payoff, but a slight chance of death. In Season 5, it was an Irish witch offering people extra years on their lives over poker. Now, it’s the Roman goddess of luck offering people better fortune in a pool hall. Both episodes show the Winchesters beating them at their own games—not for their own benefit, but for the good of others.
Dean enjoys his time winning his first two games. Unfortunately, he has to witness what happens when “luck runs out” as his opponent is overtaken by the cancer he was holding at bay. To add insult to injury, the luck Dean won isn’t even enough to get the Impala started. Going for the root of the problem, Sam challenges the goddess running the bar to a game, in hopes of changing their luck and freeing the people she’s stolen from. He wins the first game, but loses the second.
Though Luck should collect their lives, as promised, she lets Sam and Dean leave unharmed. Then, she follows Sam’s wishes and closes down the pool hall entirely. The sympathetic waitress Sam spends most of the episode talking to is sent out with a message. Luck’s show of good faith is because she thought the Winchesters’ “kind” had died out—that is to say, heroes. She sends the boys on their way with enough luck to get them back to hero-status. She also advises them to stop playing Chuck’s game, and force him to play theirs instead.
Castiel returns to the empty bunker while Sam and Dean are off in Alaska. That’s lucky in and of itself, since Cas is able to answer a phone call from one Sheriff Evans about Jack Kline. The security footage he sends shows Jack walking into a doctor’s office, fighting a man, and calmly eating his heart. Castiel is aghast, but jumps at any opportunity to see Jack again.
Even though I knew Jack would wander back onto the show at some point, I wasn’t sure this was going to be real. I was just as certain it might be a monster borrowing Jack’s face. But it turns out that Jack isn’t eating the hearts of innocent men. Instead he’s targeting Grigori—an ancient race of angels that went rogue and now prey on humans to live. Jack is captured and being tortured when Castiel swoops in to save the day. And finally, finally, after weeks of waiting, we get to see Jack reunited with his family.
Sam and Dean return to the bunker to find Castiel, when Jack dramatically steps out of the shadows. After a moment of hesitation, Sam rushes forward to hug him. Dean, a little more macho, just holds his face meaningfully. And then it cuts to all four of them sitting around the map table and drinking beers. No apologies, no praises, no questions.
I want to say that the reunion was everything I wanted it to be. At the same time, it still felt like it fell short in some aspects. I’d always prefer more talking and feelings on Supernatural. Especially since, you know, Dean was trying to kill Jack last time they were together. But the logistics of Jack’s return took precedence. I can only hope we get more fluff next episode.
The Plan to Kill God
To me, it’s been obvious all along that Jack is the key to stopping God. He’s by far the most powerful character on the show. More importantly, Chuck spent the last few episodes of the previous season trying to take Jack off the board. That’s in part because of the drama in the story, of course. But it would be silly not to recognize the threat Jack’s power poses to Chuck.
Jack tells the Winchesters that there’s nothing more he’s wanted than to come home to them. But the reaper Billie, now Death, has given him very specific instructions. He can’t use his powers at all, because that will alert Chuck to his presence. He needs to power up as well, which is why he was consuming all the Grigori hearts. Jack confesses that is just the beginning, and there’s a long road ahead of him. But if he can follow it, he will be powerful enough to kill God.
The episode ends on that dramatic note, leaving us with the same questions we had at the start of the season. What happens to our world, all the worlds, if God is killed? Previous seasons tell us that if Chuck dies, Amara needs to die too, lest the universe fall into cosmic unbalance. But both Chuck and Amara are world jumping somewhere on the other end of creation. With God out of the picture, won’t we be led to the same future where the monsters win? Can Sam suddenly make peace with that?
It’s anyone’s guess if we’ll get real answers to these questions. Who knows what kind of heroic tasks await Jack in the second half of the season? Who will even survive to see them completed? We’ll have to wait through another Supernatural hiatus to find out.
I liked Supernatural Season 15 Episode 11 a lot better than last week’s episode. It played with bad luck without being campy. It cemented the idea that the Winchesters’ values and actions are what makes them heroes, not the feats they achieve. More importantly, I’m thrilled to finally have Jack back. Hopefully with the return of this family dynamic, the second half of the show can pick up its rhythm.
I still have my doubts about the final episodes. The first half of the season felt like it was spinning its wheels trying to delay this obvious showdown between Chuck and Jack. Inevitably, the creator of the past will have to come head to head with the future the Winchesters chose. It’s undeniably poetic, but there’s still a lot of plot holes to be filled and dodged. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that nine episodes is enough time to tie up the loose ends Supernatural has left hanging.