caranfindel (caranfindel) wrote,
caranfindel
caranfindel

Initial reaction 14.07: “Unhuman Nature”

Ah, Stewart. We meet again.


THEN: Dean will kill Jack if he has to, but Sam will stop him if he can. Jack lost his grace but gained Dean's love and then coughed up a bunch of blood and collapsed and also there's some Nick nonsense that I don't care about.

NOW: Nick killed a priest. thank u, next!

Title card!

Jack's in bed, seemingly asleep or unconscious. Cas does some healing mojo on him as Sam and Dean wait in the hall like a couple of expectant fathers in the 50s, but it doesn't work, and he coughs up more blood. Cas comes out and confesses his failure. We hear a thump from the bedroom and see Jack on the floor, convulsing and foaming at the mouth. The Impala speeds through the night, and then we're in a busy emergency room, where someone at a desk insists on asking a lot of questions before they take Jack anywhere. She starts with basic questions, like his name, and Dean has to look to Sam to see what his last name is. Surely he hasn't forgotten "Kline," right? I think they're just deciding which name to use. And I don't exactly want to erase Kelly Kline's presence, but I sure would have appreciated it if they'd decided to call him Winchester.

Dean also can't remember Jack's birthday, and once again Sam comes through, because Sam is the boy's real parent and we all know it. But then the clerk or nurse or whatever she is starts trying to get a medical history, and that's not how this works. At least, not in any ER I've ever seen. They're not going to get a lot more than insurance information up front, and then they'll take you back and start getting a medical history. In private. So this is annoying and stupid. And since (surprise, surprise!) it's a BuckLeming episode, we get some "humor" about his father's cause of death.

Then Jack collapses, and that's what it takes to get loaded onto a gurney and taken, I assume, into an ER exam room. So I'm annoyed when TFW is kicked out, because, once again, that's not how it works in any ER I've ever been in. But maybe they're just extraordinary flexible about that in these parts. They cut off his shirt and poke at him and take CT scans of his brain and the guys wait and pace and worry. Dean's freaking out quite a bit, to let us know that he really cares about Jack now, in case you were wondering. They interrupt this for some more Nick nonsense, but it's completely irrelevant so I'm going to ignore it.


Pretty worried Sam WITH A PEEK OF CHEST HAIR? YES, PLEASE.

The waiting continues. Dean comments that he was worried about Jack being hurt by a vampire or a ghoul, not a cough. The doctor shows up and tells them Jack's test results were all negative (which always reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George thinks negative tests results are bad and positive are good), and they have no idea what's wrong with him. And they want to run more tests.

At this point, I finally see the sign on the door that says they're in ICU, not the ER. Which is a good place to be, because "Jack's in total systemic failure. His body's in the process of shutting down." (I've only heard this referred to as "systemic organ failure," and Google doesn't think "total systemic failure" has anything to do with medicine or the human body, but I'm not a doctor, and I don't play one on TV, so maybe "total systemic failure" is a thing. Or maybe it's a BuckLeming thing. You be the judge.)

As Cas sits in the room with Jack, Dean asks Sam "how much longer are we going to do this?" I thought he was talking on a meta level, as in, our lives are a total systemic failure, how much longer are we going to keep losing people? But he actually means how many tests are they going to let Jack undergo. Sam agrees that they're done, since modern medicine doesn't even know what Jack is, let alone know how to figure out what's wrong with him and treat it. Dean says he even thought about calling Rowena, heh heh, how ridiculous would that be, and Sam's all, "I already called her." OF COURSE YOU DID. The doctor comes back as TFW bundles Jack up to leave, claiming they're getting a second opinion.

Bunker. Sam and Rowena! \o/ I really hope Jared and Ruth enjoy working together as much as I enjoy watching them work together. They have this conversation:

Thanks for coming.

I got here as quick as I could. How is he?

Well, um.

I brought the Book of the Damned.

Which ah, you stole.

Which I borrowed. Amidst the ruckus of those folks arriving from the other world, but we can talk about that later. Just how sick is Dean?

Yeah, about that. Um.

Is this a trick, Samuel? I thought we were beyond this!


I was confused at first, because why would Rowena care so much about Jack's well-being? And Sam knows it so he LIED TO HER to get her to come help and oh, Sam, you precious, precious boy. So this little exchange gave us (1) evidence that Rowena cares for Dean, (b) Rowena saying Samuel, and (3rd) Rowena acknowledging that she thought she and Sam had a relationship that goes beyond lying and manipulation. Relationship goals, y'all!





Enjoy these few lovely moments, because things are going to get much less enjoyable.

Rowena is not at all interested in preventing the death of Lucifer's son. "From what I know of the father, the world will be better off without the son." And we get the thing that was clever the first time this season but it's getting old, where it turns out Jack was behind her and heard what she said. "You might be right," he says. "We're all still figuring that out." He actually looks pretty damn good, considering that he was coughing up blood and foaming at the mouth pretty recently. He tells her he's trying not to be like his father, and that Sam and Dean have said such nice things about her (and behind her, Sam gives a nervous little exhale which could mean oh good, the kid can lie like a Winchester or oh god, Jack, please don't tell her the very specific nice things I said about her, I told you those in confidence and I know which one of those I want it to be), and thanks her for saving them from AU Land, and then collapses into a coughing fit like a fragile Victorian heroine.

Well, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, so kudos to the BuckLeming because I actually love this scene.

Rowena succumbs to his charms, because let's face it, the boy is charming. We see her performing a spell at his bedside, but apparently it's diagnostic, not therapeutic. He asks "how am I," and she gives him the I don't want to be the one to tell you you're dying look.

TFW is pacing in the hallway again, and Rowena comes out to tell them a nephilim falls into chaos without its grace, and its cells are "gobbling each other up." Interesting that Rowena knows so much more about nephilim than Cas does. (Sidebar: The singular should actually be nephil? nephili? Because nephilim is plural. I'm ignoring that, as the Show does.) Cas offers his own grace, because Cas never learns, does he, that his grace is always going to be inadequate. As Rowena explains that Jack needs archangel grace and blah blah blah or "it will be the end of him," we get a Dean POV with things going blurry and weird. OH NO, WHAT COULD BE WRONG WITH DEAN, I CAN'T POSSIBLY IMAGINE.

Nightclub. Nick. Don't care. (As I watched all of Nick's scenes last night, my finger hovered over the FF button but I said no, I have to watch this, there might be something important. For you guys. I do this for you. But only once.)

Bunker. Dean brings Jack a sandwich and finds that he's packing to go to Vegas, or Tahiti. My, he really seems to be in good shape right now. I've only known one person who died of systemic organ failure, and it's pretty much a downward slope. You don't have relapses where you feel like traveling to Tahiti. But maybe total systemic failure is different.

Jack is accepting that he's no longer immortal and is in fact, very very mortal, and he wants to live while he can. He doesn't want to waste time arguing with Dean, because he knows he disagrees. And of course Dean disagrees. This is Dean's MO. Dean will say no, you're not dying and will refuse to accept Jack's acceptance of it; he'll fight and fight and Sam will be the one to step in and say it's Jack's life, you have to let him do this.

Right? That's how this show has worked for 13 and a half seasons, right?

Cut to the library, where Cas, Sam, and Rowena are all frantically reading and calling and trying to find help. Sam talked to Ketch, who remains ever in our story even if he's not going to show up in person again, and got a recommendation for a shaman. Dean's vision goes weird and blurry again (SERIOUSLY GUYS I AM CONCERNED AND CONFUSED, WHAT COULD THIS POSSIBLY INDICATE) as Cas volunteers to visit Sergei the Shaman. Then Jack enters the room, carrying his bag, and Dean says they're "taking Baby for some exercise." Sam frowns at Jack trying to live his life because that's what Sam does.

NO IT ISN'T. NONE OF THIS IS RIGHT. WHY IS DEAN TAKING THE SAM ROLE AND SAM TAKING THE DEAN ROLE. WHY.

(sigh. I know why. You know why.)

(FUCKLEMING!)

Dean and Jack get food, and Dean tosses him the keys and lets him drive. It's cute but it goes on for a really long time. It's like they regret letting Sam have all the bonding scenes with Jack, and they feel like Dean has to catch up. It's annoying, is what it is.




But I do love me some ImpalaCam.

Meanwhile, back at the bunker, Sam and Cas discuss how Dean is taking the Jack situation "particularly hard." Because that's the most important thing happening here, the fact that Dean is upset about Jack's impending doom. (sigh) Sam thinks it's because he was so unfriendly to Jack at first, and feels guilty about it.

He's lost people; we've all lost people, but, um...

This feels different. Losing, um, a son, feels different.


Is it really important to emphasize that Dean feels like he's losing a son? Weren't Sam and Cas Jack's first father figures? Couldn't they be feeling some of this pain too, instead of being worried about how Dean feels about it? It's especially ironic since, of the three of them, Dean has come closest to losing a son before - with Ben, with Emma, and with Sam himself. He could be giving them some tips. ("It's gonna suck. Drink a lot. And prepare to do some really fucked-up shit to get him back.")

Oh well. Sad piano music for Dean.




At least it was a pretty scene.

Dean thinks Jack's next experience should be hooking up at a bar (aw, remember when he thought that was what Cas needed when he was on his way out?), but Jack would rather go fishing. (Yes, I did skip a Nick bit here. You're welcome.) He remembers Dean talking about fishing with John, and what a happy memory that was. And if Jack doesn't make it, he wants to have experienced "more time with you." Can we please, for the love of god, assume that he means the plural you? That he means Sam and Cas too, and not just Dean? Can we just all agree on that?

A tiny blue car pulls up at a lavishly painted travel trailer, and I'd love to see Sam Winchester unfold those long legs and emerge from it, but it's just Cas's visit to Sergei. Sergei is a suspicious type, so he's set up a holy fire trap. He has a bad fake Russian accent. I want him to say "moose and squirrel." So much. Sergei says Jack's condition can't be reversed, but it can be "shocked out of its progression." Like rebooting a computer, he says. Sir, have you tried shutting off your nephilim and then turning it back on again? Seriously, guys, it's always the first step.

Sergei pulls out a vial of archangel grace, which he bartered from Gabriel. Well, it seems like that would solve the problem of Jack's missing grace, wouldn't it? Just like when Cas absorbed another angel's grace and regained his powers? Wouldn't a refill of grace put Jack right back in factory condition? Sergei won't name a price for the grace and the necessary spell, but he says the Winchesters will owe him one.

(Sidebar: Let us never forget that they owe Rowena one as well, and I'm still waiting for her to collect.)

Back at the bunker, Rowena asks Jack if he's ready. He looks to Dean before saying yes, because Dean's blessing is the most important (OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE). Rowena reads the spell as Jack sucks down the grace. The lights flicker, so you know some magic is happening. Jack's eyes glow and at first he feels better, but then he collapses. Dean accuses Rowena of reading the words wrong, even though the words shouldn't even matter, even though the grace should have done its thing, spell or no spell.

(Thanks, Buckleming.)

Cas angrily phones Sergei, who says the spell wasn't guaranteed to work, so. Too bad, so sad, go call your dad.

All right, I can't ignore it any longer; let's get Nick's story out of the way. There's nothing you need to know other than this: the man who killed his wife and baby was possessed by a demon named Abraxis. Nick kills the poor meatsuit, and then weepily prays that he thought killing the guy would make him happy, and it didn't. I understand, Nick. At one point, I thought having Mark Pellegrino back as Lucifer would make me happy, and it didn't. It surely didn't.

Anyway. He likes killing people and doesn't want to stop. Oh, he's praying to Lucifer. Nice. Because he's bonded to him. Oooookay. And as Nick begs Lucifer to come back, we see a skeleton forming out a pool of black nothingness. Um. The Empty? Is this happening in The Empty? Is Lucifer forming like Empty Cas did? And if so, isn't it Empty Lucifer and not actually Lucifer himself? Would a vesselless angel even have a skeleton? And why is Nick powerful enough to pray an angel out of The Empty, since the only being we've seen do that before was Jack? And why am I asking about this as if it matters, as if I care, because the most important thing is I DO NOT WANT THIS. I DO NOT WANT LUCIFER TO COME BACK. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS??????

(We can't blame the BuckLeming. It's the showrunners who make that decision. But I still kinda want to punch them in the face anyway.)

So, with Lucifer's return, we get the possibility (probability) that his grace will be used to save Jack (it will turn out that he needs his original grace, not a transplant.) And it's possible (but very, very unlikely) that Sam will get to be the one who kills him. And it even opens the door to Gabriel being recalled from The Empty as well. But I still DO NOT WANT.


They do cleverly frame Nick with horns in a few shots, so, there's that.

We close with Rowena running her hands over Jack, and Dean whining that he shouldn't have taken him out. Even though THAT'S NOT EVEN THE PROBLEM, DEAN. Spare us your unnecessary guilt and angst. Sam says life is a risk, and Jack knew it. Cas said Dean made Jack happy, and did more for him "than any of us," and I start throwing things at the television, because NO. Sam and Cas gave Jack love and acceptance and protection and guidance from the very beginning and THIS IS NOT OKAY, SHOW. I can blame the Buckleming for this pile of shit, and I do, my friends, I do.

Rowena tells the boys that all they can do is "watch over him, stay by his side as he dies."

Was this the mid-season cliffhanger? It feels like the mid-season cliffhanger.

It also kind of feels like a punch in the face. And I can only blame the BuckLeming for part of it. {sigh} Oh well. As always, please keep the comments spoiler-free, thanks!
Tags: 14.07 inhuman nature, initial reaction, pretty, season 14, supernatural
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Posts from This Journal “initial reaction” Tag

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