CW’s Supernatural returns on a new night with one, clear goal. It’s time to wrap up some of these side plots.
On Supernatural Season 15 Episode 12, Chuck comes to the revelation that all the other worlds he created need to go. With time running out in the alternate universes, the Winchesters make some risky decisions to save an ally they thought was long dead.
Say Goodbye to the Multiverse
Fresh back from hiatus, Supernatural Season 15 Episode 12 starts with a recap and monologue from Chuck. He’s messing around on Earth 2.0, contemplating his own existence after defeating the Winchesters at the casino. Chuck is upset that Dean told him to get lost, that they weren’t going to give him the ending that he wanted. As an all-powerful God, that shouldn’t matter to Chuck. But he’s distressed to find that it does. In solution, he decides to scrap all his other worlds and focus on “the real Sam and Dean.”
That line alone has some heavy ramifications. I hadn’t considered until now that the Sam and Dean we know were necessarily the “real” Sam and Dean at all. I just figured they were the ones we knew best. But Chuck’s fascination with them implies something else entirely. If this is truly Earth 1.0, does that mean it’s his first creation? What liberties did he take with it that the other worlds don’t have?
In the end, it all comes down to the question of free will. With Supernatural, it always has. In Chuck’s speech, he mentions that the real Sam and Dean surprise him, challenge him, and disappoint him. Straight from God’s mouth, that must mean that they have some level of agency. If the real Sam and Dean come from Earth 1.0, they may have been given more power than the others, before Chuck realized his mistake. Hopefully, that’s a weakness they can exploit over the remaining episodes.
The Failed Spinoff
In a classic meta-moment, Chuck says that it’s time to start cancelling shows, starting with the failed spinoffs. So it’s no surprise that the rest of the episode deals with Kaia and Dark!Kaia, the characters set up by Supernatural’s “Wayward Sisters” episode. While most of the women involved don’t get an appearance, it did warrant a visit from Jody Mills, and a tiny cameo from her adoptive daughter Alex. I was really hoping for some screen time with Claire, but it wasn’t in the cards for this week.
Even after pre-binging Supernatural start to finish, I was a little hazy about the details of this plotline. Kaia was a dreamwalker who had been killed in the “Dark World,” an alternate universe which Jack opened a portal to. She was killed by her double—Dark Kaia for lack of a better term—who escaped into our world. That version of Kaia briefly came into play last season, when the Winchesters convinced her to loan them her spear in order to defeat Michael. She agreed under the conditions that they return it in one piece, and that Jack send her back to her own world. Unfortunately, the Winchester failed to hold up their end of the bargain.
Dark Kaia returns in this episode to collect on the deal, but she couldn’t have chosen a worse time. The Winchesters do not have the spear, since Michael broke it. And Jack is forbidden from using his powers since his return from the Empty. But just when the Winchesters are ready to walk away, Dark Kaia reveals something monumental. The real Kaia is still alive, trapped in the Dark World. And with Chuck’s new world-ending order, her time is running out.
We Need to Talk About Jack
Last episode, we saw Jack for the very first time this season—returned from the Empty and engaging in some very shady business. Castiel catches him eating angel hearts to regain his strength. Jack is following instructions from Billie, who sprung him from the Empty in order to defeat Chuck. Unfortunately, that’s all he’s allowed to know.
On Supernatural Season 15 Episode 12, Sam, Dean and Castiel gather to discuss this development. Castiel trusts Jack implicitly, despite any and all warning signs. Dean has had his troubles with Jack, but has a solid faith in Billie. She’s a by-the-book kind of leader, and he can’t imagine her working toward any nefarious end. But Sam’s concern is with Jack’s soul. Or rather, his lack of one.
Sam maintains that they cannot trust Jack’s judgment while he doesn’t have a soul. His moral compass is skewed at best, and he’s been duped by villains playing to his morals before. And while it makes logical sense that Sam is correct, Jack’s actions say otherwise. He stares at Mary’s initials carved onto the bunker table and feels regret. He feels responsible for Kaia’s pain, and moved by Dark Kaia’s connection with her. And if Jack still doesn’t have a soul, he shouldn’t be feeling much of anything.
Whether this turns out to be some heavy hinting from the writers or merely some friction in the plot, it raises some interesting questions about the nature of Jack’s soul. I’ll be interested to see how his time in the Empty changed him, and how it affects his decisions going forward.
The Plan to Save Kaia
A good portion of the episode is spent trying to find a way to the Dark World that doesn’t involve using Jack’s powers. Predictably, nothing turns up. But just as Jack’s resolve cracks and he decides to save Kaia himself, a reaper by the name of Merle intervenes. She’s been tailing Jack to keep him in line, reporting back to Billie. She reminds Jack that he’d have to be stupid to risk detection from God to save one life. Specifically, Winchester-stupid.
But because Jack is truly a Winchester, he’s also got their smarts and guts. He calls Merle’s bluff and threatens her. Either she can go tell Billie that Jack disobeyed on her watch, or she can help them with the plan so that Billie never has to know. Choosing to save her own skin, Merle helps power up the bunker’s cosmic warding so Jack can take the risk.
This conversation was one of my favorite parts of the episode. There’s nothing I love more than Jack reminding us that he is, through and through, a Winchester. And regular Winchester stupidity is something the show has been lacking in the last few episodes. With all the high stakes and lofty players, it can be hard to keep the show grounded. But Sam put it best with my favorite line this episode: “Disobeying cosmic entities. Doing the dumb, right thing. Feels like we’re back.”
For all the prep, it doesn’t take very long to save Kaia. She comes running at the sound of her name, and is too grateful to see a familiar face to ask any questions. While Sam and Dean escort her back to safety, Dark Kaia stays behind. She knows that her world is ending. But she would rather die with it than try and be something she’s not.
Kaia is saved and brought back to the main universe. She gets to go home to Sioux Falls with Jody, and reunite with Claire. Jack feels good about saving a life, and one was struck down by God. So all in all, it’s a victory—for everyone except Merle. Like any episode of Supernatural, the Winchesters take a stupid risk, and the women who help them get the knife instead. Billie ices Merle for being a “weak player” in the big picture.
But there’s no time to mourn the death of another side character. Billie is ready to put the Winchesters in their place and explain a few things. As Death’s successor, she inherited all his knowledge of the universe, including when and how God is going to die. This knowledge is kept in the books of Death’s library, something that even Chuck doesn’t have access to. This is a result of his over-expansion. He was trying to oversee so many worlds that he had to “build himself into the framework” so they would run properly.
Billie has read God’s book, and she knows how it ends. She tells the Winchesters that they are “the messengers of God’s destruction.” And while it feels like a very high and mighty note to end on, it also felt somewhat empty. We know as viewers that the Winchesters are going to be there to watch God die. Maybe it will only be one of them, and maybe it won’t happen in the way we expect. But that’s just the way any good book goes.
My problem with Supernatural Season 15 Episode 12, as will a lot of recent ones, is that it feels like the show is spinning its wheels. It’s taking the time to lay out plots and these big reveals which aren’t all that shocking. We’ve always known Jack would be a key player in taking down Chuck. We know that, much as death plagues the Winchesters, at least one of them will make it to the finale. I’m anxious to see some progress, and find out what lays beyond all this groundwork.
The future of Supernatural is tentative at the moment. Like many shows, filming has been postponed due to the pandemic. This will inevitably disrupt the broadcast schedule, which was originally set to wrap up mid-May. For now, there are still a few episodes of Supernatural in the bank.
Watch Supernatural on the CW Monday at 8/7c.