Death has the next quest for Jack to complete, and it will require the return of some of Supernatural’s greatest women.
On Supernatural Season 15 Episode 13, Billie reveals the next step in Jack’s journey to defeat God. He must find the Occultum, a hidden object of untold spiritual power and origin. But to track it down, the Winchesters will need to consult with some wily women from their past.
The preview for this episode saw the Winchesters going head to head with another world’s version of themselves. This other Sam and Dean were also hunters, trying to escape their world before God had the chance to end it. Only in that world, Sam and Dean are two spoiled rich kids who drink top shelf Scotch, have private planes, and hunt for profit. Between that and Sam’s man-bun, the preview set this week up to be one hilarious episode.
It just goes to show that a well-cut trailer can completely change the reality of the situation. The Trust-Fund Winchesters didn’t play a big part in this week’s episode, aside from a few laughs and a decoy for Chuck. After the real Sam and Dean save them from the void between worlds, they remind the other worlders that they’re kind of in their debt. The Trust-Fund Winchesters have to shed their fancy clothes, stay in the bunker, and “act natural” in case God decided to peek in and check on the boys. Meanwhile, the real Winchesters can keep cracking on the plan to kill him.
I was really excited to see another version of Sam and Dean. I like thinking about all of Supernatural’s alternate universes and how they differ in the details. But at the end of the day, this whole plot line was a diversion for the fans as much as it was for Chuck. The way the trailer was cut together, the Trust-Fund Winchesters felt like a cover for this episode’s cameos, rather than something that actually added to the plot. Normally I wouldn’t mind (because I was really, really excited about the cameos), but with only seven episodes remaining, I wish the show would budget its time more strictly.
Sister Jo and Ruby
The real plot of this episode surrounded Billie’s plans for Jack. Now that he’s regained his physical strength, it’s time for him to complete a “spiritual” test. Billie tells him to locate the Occultum, a magical object of unknown origin, untold power, and untraceable location. And of course, there’s nothing the Winchesters handle better than a job with bad odds.
Their investigation leads them first to Sergei, the shifty shaman, and then to Sister Jo—or rather, the angel Anael. Supposedly, she accepted the Occultum as payment in one of her healing scams. However, when they visit her for an explanation, she has a very interesting story to tell—and a confusing one.
Anael’s original background said that she was a soul counter in Heaven, up until the Fall of the Angels at the end of Supernatural Season 8. When Metatron ejected all the angels from Heaven, most of them were scared and scrambled. Anael was more adaptive, and quickly took Sister Jo as a vessel and set up her scam to ensure a cushy life on Earth.
However, Supernatural Season 15 Episode 13 shows Anael working on Earth long before the Fall. Apparently, she’s been running her side business since way back in Season 4, back when she had a working alliance with the demon Ruby. I’m as thrilled as the next person to have Ruby back on my screen, a reminder of a simpler time. But I’m not going to pretend to love this plot line. It makes minimal sense in the scheme of things, because it’s fun to watch Jensen and Jared’s wives on screen together. And while I love both their characters individually, it all comes back to that same argument that we’re running out of time for Supernatural to make any sense.
Meg, But Not Meg
Anael’s tall tale sends the Winchesters to the depths of Hell to look for where Ruby may have stashed the Occultum. But Hell is big, and Castiel is worried they won’t make much progress. So he takes on the much more manageable task of killing himself to travel to the Empty, where he will avoid the cosmic being who wants him dead and get real answers from the real Ruby. Again, this plot didn’t make much sense to me, but was necessary for the episode.
But when Castiel goes to the Empty, he bumps into not one but two familiar faces. And it’s a face I’ve been anxious to see ever since I found out that demons were kept in the Empty. Rachel Miner returned to our screens as Meg, and I very much sat screaming in my living room.
I was heartbroken to learn that she wasn’t actually playing Meg. Rather, the cosmic entity of the Empty took on her face to mess with Castiel’s emotions (and mine.) I wanted so, so desperately for Castiel to have some time with Meg, whose death is one of the most infuriating in Supernatural for me. But I know that shooting schedules and actors’ personal lives, I should be happy for any cameo at all. I will cherish the hopeful look on Castiel’s face when he heard that familiar voice saying, “Hello, Clarence.” And I will try not to be upset that my favorite demon is still very much dead.
Castiel completes his mission with surprising ease. He convinces the Empty to wake up Ruby, who is surprisingly agreeable for having been murdered a decade ago. She gets sappy about Sam, and sets the record straight about Anael. It had been the angel’s plan to use the Occultum as a hide out in case the Apocalypse went south. Ruby agreed to hide it, and gives Castiel its location under one condition. Castiel needs to try and get her released from the Empty.
With the Occultum’s location safely in hand, and the Trust-Fund Winchesters acting as decoys in the bunker, Jack, Castiel and the real Winchesters head out to achieve Billie’s quest. They find themselves at a small church, where they have to battle off some surprise Hellhounds. Despite the obstacles, the Occultum is hidden under the floorboards exactly where she said it would be. Castiel reads the Enochian description, Jack swallows the divine object, and he promptly disappears.
While Sam, Dean and Castiel argue and fight off the Hellhounds, Jack wakes inside of the Occultum. The object is actually a container for the original Garden—Eden, pristine and untouched, trapped in a travel capsule. Humans cannot enter it, but it does hold special gifts for certain people. Jack is confronted by a small girl, and then a snake hanging from a tree. The snake asks who he is, who he is meant to be, and subjects Jack to a series of visions from his life. Jack watches as he goes fishing with Dean, as he accidentally kills a girl from town, as he kills Mary—and then he collapses.
The Return of Jack’s Soul
By this point in the episode, I had a fairly good idea what was happening. The early scenes address the question of Jack’s morality, which I brought into question last week. In a conversation with Castiel, Jack admits that he understands right and wrong, understands his own guilt and personal connections. But without his soul, he just doesn’t feel them the same way anymore. He yearns for the forgiveness of the Winchesters even though he can’t feel any real sorrow over what he’s done.
Jack’s time in Eden changes this. Suddenly he’s wracked with guilt, inconsolable over all the things he’s done wrong. Castiel reveals that somehow, his soul has returned. Jack able to finally, truly apologize for what he did to Mary, but the episode ends before either of the Winchesters can react.
I’m thrilled that Jack finally got his soul back. There’s a narrative power in that, I think—that he will only be able to defeat God when he has the most angelic and the most human parts of him at full power. But also, in a lot of ways, Jack has become the soul of Supernatural. His desperation to understand the world, and the guidance he receives from his three father figures, really centered the show in a way that hadn’t felt right in years. Now that Jack is back to normal, I’m hoping we can move back to the family dynamic.
For the last few episodes, I’ve said it felt as though the show was spinning its wheels. Supernatural Season 15 Episode 13 felt like those wheels suddenly caught, and the plot jerked unexpectedly forward. So much happened so quickly, and I don’t feel as though one episode was enough to explore it all. Some unnecessary things felt drawn out, like the second set of Winchesters. And some things felt rushed without real explanations, like the appearances of Ruby and Anael.
Seven episodes is still a lot of time, but I’ll be shocked if Supernatural manages to tie up half the loose ends they’ve collected. In a lot of ways, this season feels like its brought up more. Anael is out there with her ambiguous background. We have a whole new Sam and Dean wandering around Brazil, and possibly another world’s John Winchester. This world’s Michael and Adam are still around, not to mention the Bobby and Charlie that came over from Apocalypse World. And now there’s seeds to let Ruby out of the Empty too. So much is up in the air, and I can’t trust whether any of it is important enough to come back down.
The future of Supernatural is uncertain to say the least. Due to the pandemic, this is the last episode we’ll receive for quite some time. While the show is on hiatus, all we can do is rewatch, rethink, and predict what could happen in these final seven episodes.