Sam and Dean work an average case at a high school, while Chuck contacts an old flame for inspiration.
On Supernatural Season 15 Episode 4, everyone is trying to get back in the saddle. Dean convinces a reluctant Sam to check out the death of a cheerleader at a high school. Meanwhile, Chuck visits one of his exes in hopes of lifting his spirits and gaining some direction.
The episode starts with a highly anticipated action sequence, featuring a bearded Dean kicking ass and taking names in the bunker. Many of these clips were showcased in the season’s trailers. Additionally, Jensen Ackles, who directed this week’s episode, was sure to hype fans up by promising “John Wick” level action. And I’ve got to say—it did not disappoint!
The fight choreo and deep red lighting of the scene was incredible. But we’re not just here for aesthetics. The scene also saw the return of the vampire Benny, one of Dean’s allies from back in Supernatural Season 8. However, his reprisal was short-lived, and so was he. He died in the fight, and fans got to watch him die all over again. Which I have to say, was an extremely disappointing start to the episode.
Thankfully, the sequence did answer the questions about black-eyed Sam, as shown in the vision back in Supernatural Season 15 Episode 1. This particular universe is one where Sam was never able to kick the habit of drinking demon blood. As a result, he has immense powers and virtually no emotions. Though Dean pleads with him to reconsider, Sam breaks his neck without batting an eye. Thankfully, this is all a dream in our world, where the real Sam wakes up in a cold sweat.
I have to say, I like this vignette-style look into the alternate universes. I’m sure they’ll be used for more pressing plot-related issues, hopefully in finding a way to defeat Chuck. But for now, they’re an interesting way to keep things fresh and bring back old faces. That being said, I’m hoping we can bring back some old faces without killing any more of them. I get that the writers may be attempting to set a tone of hopelessness and despair, but all I’m actually feeling is disappointment and annoyance.
Beaverdale High School
Sam is shaken from his nightmare, and still recovering from the loss of Jack and Rowena. It’s never addressed that the brothers have lost Cas too, which was something else I found incredibly annoying. Yet again, the show chooses to cut any scenes where Sam might speak about Cas, who is still supposedly one of his best friends. But I digress. Dean convinces Sam to take the case of a dead cheerleader in hopes of lifting his spirits, and pushing him down the road to healing.
I was not all that impressed with the case itself. Sam and Dean quickly discover that the murder was the work of a vampire. They investigate everyone from the cheerleading team to the school mascot, but it’s not until another girl goes missing that they get a real lead. Security footage leads them to the home of a lacrosse player and his parents. While Dean is quick to blame the father, Sam is able to guess the real truth. The son has made mistakes as a vampire, and his parents are desperately trying to cover his tracks.
This part of the episode didn’t really keep my attention. There were a lot of moving parallels about what parents do for their children, just as Sam and Dean and Cas did many things to protect Jack. I thought it was very emotional to see Billy, the vampire, sacrifice himself and take responsibility for his crimes. But at the same time, the storyline didn’t quite hold my attention. I didn’t feel very attached to any of the characters, and I thought the slow-motion shot of Dean swinging his machete was incredibly overkill. I’m all for standalone episodes and basic hunts, but this didn’t feel like it fit into place in the overall plot.
The only thing I really connected to was Sam and Dean’s conversation in the Impala at the end of the episode. Dean preaches to Sam about the importance of carrying on, how they need to honor their friends by continuing to save people and work jobs. Sam disagrees, admitting that he’s not sure he’ll ever heal from the losses they’ve suffered. More than anything, I was thrilled to hear Sam talk about Jessica, who rarely gets any acknowledgement in the later seasons. The scene was very emotional, but still carries a sense of circle talk. Sam and Dean have spent so many seasons swapping who wants to retire and who wants to keep hunting that it can be hard to keep straight, or really attach it to their characters in a meaningful way.
Supernatural Season 15 Episode 4 also saw the return of Becky Rosen, an in-universe fangirl of Chuck’s Supernatural book series. Becky was long used as a representation of the Supernatural fandom, citing incredibly specific details and writing taboo fanfiction. She was nerdy and confident, without an ounce of self-awareness, which is why she often acted as comic relief. Becky would routinely get star-struck around Sam and Dean, or make flirty, suggestive comments that made other characters uncomfortable. It should come as no surprise, then, that a lot of the real fandom found her incredibly annoying and insulting.
The final straw seemed to come in Supernatural Season 7 Episode 8, “Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!” In the episode, Becky kidnaps Sam and drugs him with love potion, persuading him to get married and move in with her. The whole thing was done to make her look good at a high school reunion. While there are a couple funny scenes, most revolving around Dean’s horror, the episode overall was not received well. It did a terrible job addressing Sam’s lack of consent, and tried to play the whole thing off as funny. With one bad episode, Becky was essentially written off, and never heard from again.
Until, of course, this week. I was exceptionally nervous when I found out Becky would be making a reappearance, but I was pleasantly surprised with her role. After multiple seasons of crazed-fangirl-antics, Becky has mellowed out into what most of us would consider a more recognizable fangirl. She’s married, with kids, and no longer foaming-at-the-mouth for her favorite series. But she’s still found a way to keep her passion alive, mostly by writing calm, alternate-universe fan fiction and selling her fan creations on Etsy. She’s regretful of her past, but has made a lot of progress, and is finally in a place where she’s happy with herself.
However, the way the writers handle Becky is still troublesome. This clean, mature version of Becky is shown to be better, which frames the Becky of the past as shameful, something to be fixed. While that’s true in a lot of respects (see the plot of “Time for a Wedding!”) that also includes her vehement passion and her fan fiction addiction. There’s nothing wrong with being in love with a series, or writing smut. Maybe it’s not healthy to build your life around a TV series, or a collection of books, but that mania is fairly normal to experience. It’s part of growing up. While I’m happy Becky was allowed to grow up without losing her passion, I don’t know that I’ll ever be satisfied with the way she was used in the series.
Even if Becky’s writing wasn’t perfect, I still found her appearance to be incredibly enjoyable. She gave an incredibly speech about writing that shook me to my core, talking about the lengths writers will go to avoid the one thing that makes them happy. She defended fan fiction to God himself, reminding him that writing is still writing, no matter what. Then she stood up to him, and made a case for ending the series in a way that wouldn’t just evoke emotions, but honor the fans. Becky was all of us in this episode, and it felt like a truly authentic portrayal.
Chuck’s New Ending
Becky is only drawn back into the plot by Chuck, who goes to visit her after his failed attempt to build an alliance with Amara. Chuck and Becky have history, of course, not just as content creator and fan, but in a relationship. But Chuck doesn’t lead by revealing to Becky that she once dated God. He tells her that he just wants to chat, and that he wants to feel “big” again.
His conversation with Becky, however, doesn’t go as planned. In a truly incredible moment, Becky snaps at him that she won’t be used like she was in the past. She won’t needlessly inflate his ego because he wounded his pride, and if he doesn’t feel “big” anymore, that’s his own problem. Just that was enough for me to applaud my television. But because Becky has a big heart, she ends up talking to Chuck anyway, and counseling him to start writing again if that’s what makes him happy. Which he does, at her desk, without her permission.
It was around this point I began to suspect something would go wrong. Becky reads Chuck’s piece, and at his insistence, gives him a few notes. Or really a plethora of notes, which only get harsher as she goes on. Enraged, Chuck grabs the laptop back and writes her a new ending—one filled with danger and drama, angst and emotion. We don’t get to read it, but Becky’s horrified face is enough. It’s dark, and that’s saying something for Supernatural.
But Becky stands up to him. Even after Chuck reveals that he’s God, even after he’s Thanos-snapped away her husband and both her children. She stands up to him and tells him that he cannot do this to the fans. And for all her trouble, after such great development and personal growth, Chuck snaps his fingers and gets rid of Becky too. Another returning face gone after one episode of use.
This episode was not my favorite, but it did give us a lot to think about. Sam’s visions will have to come into play sooner or later. It is interesting to note that Sam is now having these omniscient visions, when Chuck mentions that his visions have stopped. He can no longer see Sam and Dean in his mind. A bit like Harry Potter, it seems that’s a talent he’s passed onto his enemy during their altercation.
Becky’s reaction, and the inclusion in the show, gives me at least a little bit of hope about the end of Supernatural. Becky is meant to be a portrayal of the fans, after all. And Chuck, for all intents and purposes, is the villain. The way Supernatural seasons usually go, things will get dark, but the villain will still be defeated, even if the cost is high. In my mind, that means that Chuck’s version of the story will be defeated too. What we’re going to get isn’t the dark, hopeless monstrosity he’s dreamed up. However much we lose, however many characters die, the show will still end with hope.
At least, that’s what I’m choosing to believe. But there’s a lot of episodes before now and the end. Anything could happen, and we’re barely a quarter of the way there.
What did you think of Supernatural Season 15 Episode 4? Do you have any strong feelings about Becky, or the meta-version of the Supernatural family? Let us know in the comments, and share your thoughts with us on Twitter!
Supernatural airs Thursdays at 7/8c on the CW.