caranfindel (caranfindel) wrote,
caranfindel
caranfindel

Initial reaction 15.19: “Inherit the Earth”


THEN: Chuck is destroying his other worlds. Chuck's death book can only be read by Death. Jack goes boom. Everyone disappears, and Billie says it's Chuck's doing, not hers. Why does this sound like a goodbye? Cas pushes Dean away and smiles with true happiness as he is sucked into the Empty. Notably missing from the THEN: his declaration of love for Dean. I mean, it's like it didn't even happen.

NOW: Kyoto. New York City. A local park. What do they have in common? No people! Sam and Jack walk down the street, gazing sadly at evidence of people who simply disappeared, dropping their shopping back and leaving their cars to run into utility poles. The Impala pulls up, which means we missed Dean finally answering the phone, and Sam's relief, but I picture it a lot like the flip side of that call in Red Meat, when Dean gets the call and hears not-dead-after-all Sam's voice. Mmmm. That's a good moment, y'all.

But I digress.

Dean parks right in the crosswalk, which I guess is okay now considering no one is going to be crossing, but really, you don't have to go straight to chaos and anarchy.


It is a nice shot, though.

Sam's still on the edge of breaking down, it seems. He asks if Dean saw anyone on his way to Hastings, Minnesota (which is about nine hours from Lebanon, which means Sam and Jack have been wandering around Hastings for more than nine hours). "I couldn't save anybody," he says. "Billie." Dean tells him it was Chuck, not Billie, but then Jack interrupts with an awkward question - where is Cas? Oh, so Dean didn't say anything when he finally answered the phone? Sam looks like he's just now noticing Cas isn't there. And I should give him credit, because obviously he's traumatized by what just happened. But when everyone you know (and don't know) just disappeared, you'd think one of the first things he asked would be "is Cas still here or are we down to the three of us?"




They're all standing six feet apart - was this before their COVID quarantine? Good job on the social distancing, guys.

Dean has to be prodded to answer. He finally gives a condensed version of the story. "He saved me. Billie was coming after us, and Cas summoned the Empty. It took her, and it took him. Cas is gone."



I need to rewatch this a couple of times to watch Sam's face when Dean says "he saved me," because Sam KNOWS what that means.

Jack and Sam are distraught. "This can't be happening," Sam says. He pulls out his phone and calls Jody, but only gets her voicemail greeting. He calls another number and gets the same thing. {Sidebar: How many times has he already called Jody? How many other people has he called in the last nine hours? Discuss.} Dean tells Jack he's sorry, and then walks away, very non-supportively. The three of them turn and walk down the street. Where are they going? Why are they walking away from the Impala and Eileen's old car?

Title card!

Oh, okay, they walked to a restaurant. Music is playing, food is on the tables, and we can hear the vague sound of food cooking - burgers on a grill, or something in a deep fryer. It's been nine hours since the snap. Why is this place not burned to the ground? Dean points out the TV, showing an empty football stadium. Because, yeah, the camera is still going. This is a marvelously creepy touch. "Brings a whole new meaning to the term sudden death," Dean says. Too soon, dude. Sam asks, again, if they are the only people left. Someone's having a hard time accepting this, people.




And y'all know how much I love Sam's despair.

Oh, the sound was beer pouring out of an open tap! How long would it take to drain a keg, I wonder. Surely less than nine hours. (And yes, we saw these beer pulls back in Rocky's Bar, didn't we?)

Across the street, outside of Sammy's Highway Cafe (which we saw in a previous episode, but it was a different location, so this place must be a franchise), Jack is quietly crying. He tries praying to Cas, but nothing happens. And as he walks by the large planters, all of the plants die. Hmmm! Jack comes into the restaurant and asks "what now?"


There's that Three Sheeps neon sign! I don't remember where we saw it last. But it's kind of symbolic of our three remaining little lambs now, isn't it?

Dean, not one to let an opportunity slide, is enjoying a free beer. Sam turns away from another television, showing an empty news desk.

I did this. We could have just given Chuck what he wanted, you know, his grand finale. But I resisted. I pulled the thread. I thought we could beat this game, do it better. We tried to rewrite him, and the whole world paid the price.

Sam, we can -

We can what? There's nothing left, Dean! No one left to save! Everybody's gone!


Oh, guys, Sam has lost hope. Again. He even yells - well, doesn't yell, but speaks harshly - when Jack tells him he can't give up. "What other choice do we have?" Because it was all about saving the people. And not only was he unable save the people, any of them, but he blames himself for what happened to them in the first place.







What was that I said about Sam's despair? Double it.

Time jump. The Winchesters are standing next to the Impala. Presumably still in Hastings. "Think he'll show?" Sam asks. "He better," Dean answers. Who is "he," you ask? Why, the only He left. "Hey guys! Enjoying a little alone time?" Hi Chuck!

The brothers tell Chuck that he won ("I always do, me being me") and they'll give him what he wants. "The whole Cain and Abel thing. Us dead, whatever. I'll kill Sam, Sam will kill me, we'll kill each other, okay? You pick. But first, you gotta put everything back the way it was. The people, the birds, Cas. You gotta bring him back." Birds first, of course, but then Cas.

But Chuck's not interested. Too little, too late, he says. "I'm kind of enjoying this story now." (I mean, I don't disagree, but I think a lot of fans would like this version better.) "The two of you, and your little lapdog Jack, rotting on a lifeless planet. Knowing it's this way because you wouldn't take a knee. Eternal shame. Suffering. And loneliness. Whew! That's deep. That's sophisticated. That's a page-turner." Well, don't flatter yourself, Chuckles. Sam does the sad head shake of self-recrimination, as Dean watches with the anxious look of how-far-is-my-brother-going-to-spiral. Then Chuck is gone.






It's a shame this scene is so dark.

Bunker. Jack is lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling. Sam (single layer alert!!!) is wandering through the halls. Dean is snoring on the floor, surrounded by empty bottles.


Single layers and BAREFOOT! Thank you for this one last gift.

Suddenly Jack sits up, on high alert. He finds the brothers and says "guys, I'm feeling something weird."


Sorry, couldn't resist.

"Me too, pal," says a badly hungover Dean. "We need aspirin." Well, it's all free now. Head to the nearest CVS (68 miles away in Kearney, Nebraska) and stock up. But Jack says "I'm sensing a presence. There's something out there besides us." It's hard to care about something besides Sam's bare feet and exposed throat, but okay, I'll go along for the ride.

Next we see the Impala cruising down the road as the brothers question Jack. What does he sense - people? He doesn't know. How is he sensing anything, with his power gone? He doesn't know, but he feels it.

They stop at a Tod & Buz gas station, which is presumably named after someone on the show who I can't think of. It seems to be on Route 66, which is about six hours from Lebanon at the closest point (like I wouldn't look that up!) but, ironically enough, goes right through Lebanon, Missouri. Dean starts to go into the bathroom but stops when hears a dog whining. A dog! A dog is alive!

So, here's the deal. Dean's joy in finding a dog is freaking adorable. But why does Dean get this? Sam is the one who is more distraught at the loss of life on Earth. Sam is the one who blames himself. Sam is the one who we all want to see get a dog. Why can't Sam have the dog??? Anyway. Dean is so hopeful and so happy, thinking maybe Chuck didn't wipe out everything. Sam is astonished that Dean's going to let the dog ride in the car. "Relax, I'm not giving him shotgun. Unless you're cool with that." Sam's not nearly as excited about this dog as he should be. Not just because it's a dog, but because it's life. (Thanks, Buckleming!)

Well, it turns out no one gets the dog, because as soon as Dean gets him in the car, he dissolves. Dean looks up to see Chuck giving him an ironic salute.






Hell is too good for you, Chuck.

Nighttime. Dean is still ranting about Chuck taking his dog. He pulls up in front of a church. Oh, so the dog wasn't what Jack sensed. Whatever he sensed is in the church. Where there's a lot of lightning but not a cloud in sight. That's not ominous at all. Jack says whatever life he detects is either in the church or nearby.

Inside the church, all the candles are lit. And it's been at least a couple of days since the snap, so those candles would have burned out long ago. Open books are scattered around. Bibles? Or something else? Someone speaks from the back of the church. "So. You survived." It's Michael! We get a lightning flash, but no shadowy wings.

Michael explains that he hid from God in the church - it's St. Michael's, after all. Hee! Adam is gone. Michael isn't happy about it. He's been reading to see what humans thought about God and Heaven, and is surprised to see that many of them are pretty into it. "I guess my efforts were more effective than I'd hoped." Turns out Michael was Chuck's PR spokesperson after he disappeared from Heaven. "Daddy's boy," Dean calls Michael. But now Michael isn't a fan, and he's ready to join the remains of Team Free Will.

Bunker. Jack is eating a candy bar or something during this dramatic scene. It’s oddly incongruous. Sam gives Michael Le Morte d'Chuck, which I hadn't noticed was decorated with an alpha and omega. Nice. They tell him they're hoping he can read the book and tell them how to kill God. Michael gets the glowy blue eyes, but isn't able to open the book. Once again, I really like what Jake Abel is doing with Michael.



Other things I really like.

Afterward, the brothers sit, socially distanced, and talk about their lack of options. Suddenly Dean's phone rings. And he looks... annoyed? As far as they know, every living person on Earth is in the bunker, and his ringing phone is annoying? Sam, also, is only mildly curious. Well, maybe they're still getting robocalls about winning a cruise, or their car's warranty expiring.





Yeah, buddy, it expired 50 years ago.

Dean's annoyance evaporates when he sees the call is coming from Cas. Oh, crap. Are they really bringing him back? I do not want this. I can't imagine what would be worse than Cas coming back from his dramatic end. {Spoiler alert: do I know how to underestimate the Buckleming or what?}

Cas says "Dean. I'm here. I'm hurt. Can you let me in?" Dean bounds upstairs and opens the door and is greeted by... oh, no.


Stolen from girlmadeof-stars on Tumblr.

Okay, I have to admit I laughed. Hard. But other than that, my reaction was pretty much the same as Dean's. NOPE.Dean slams the door in Lucifer's face, but the Devil ends up inside anyway. Jared plays Sam's terror and fury well, which is always a good thing. But is it worth bringing Lucifer back? No, friends, it is not. Lucifer explains that after Chuck dusted everyone, the Empty kicked him out and told him to find the death book and use it to kill God. "We're a team again, guys!" Thankfully, Dean and Sam insist that they are not. I really was afraid they were going to go there.

Lucifer says he brought a "token of good faith," and presents... a bound-and-gagged woman. Do we know this woman? Who would have been in the Empty that Sam and Dean would appreciate being brought back? Oh, it's Betty. A reaper. Lucifer pulls out a blade and stabs Betty, and I want a gif of Sam's flinch, because it's magnificent. Betty falls to the floor, dead. "Wow, really?" exclaims Dean. "Worst hostess gift ever." But no, Lucifer is bringing back one of the stupider bits of canon, because sometimes the Continuity Fairy blesses you and sometimes she puts a KICK ME note on your back. Remember that after Death dies, the next reaper to die becomes the new Death? Well, meet Death.




I'm just relieved that Dean isn't going to become New Death.

The brothers are alarmed, but Dean does approach New Death very tentatively, and gently removes her gag. He's rewarded with a vicious head butt. Betty is not a fan. She insults their intelligence and demands the book. I wonder why she's suddenly on Lucifer's side. Is it just because he made her Death? Because clearly she wasn't with him up to that point. The guys lead her to the dungeon where the book is stored, and she doesn't let them in with her.

Over in the library, Lucifer cheats at building a house of cards (oh, so meta). Michael stomps into the room and can't believe the Winchesters actually trust his brother. Yeah, they don't. Lucifer says he sympathizes with Michael, who wasn't treated any better than he was even though he did everything for Daddy. Michael says he acted because it was right, not to get love, and Lucifer says good, cause Daddy didn't love nobody.

Betty suddenly appears, calling them all asshats and announcing that she has opened the book. And she knows how God ends. She begins to read aloud, but Lucifer snaps his fingers and she turns to dust. The book flies into his hands, still open. Turns out Chuck is the one who sent Lucifer to snatch the book. And also mocked Michael, allegedly calling him a "cuck." If you believe Lucifer, that is. Gotta admit, I had to use closed-captioning for that one. And the only thing I could think of was that it was short for "cuckhold," but Michael doesn't have a cheating wife. Anyway, turns out "cuck" is a broader actual insult now, referring to someone who is weak or servile. Good to know.

Michael is furious, and tries to attack Lucifer by throwing balls of fire at him. Lucifer invites Jack to "join Gramps and me on the winning team," since it's the only way he'll survive. The Winchesters look concerned that he'll agree, but before he can say anything, Michael shows up behind Lucifer and stabs him with an archangel blade. With the Winchester's archangel blade, apparently. Lucifer flames out and dies, and this is the third time someone other than Sam has killed him, in case you're keeping track. Jack reacts strongly during Lucifer's death, like it's impacting him somehow.

Later, Michael is sitting sadly in the kitchen. He's disappointed that Chuck brought Lucifer back but didn't try to contact him at all. All to get a book that he can't even read. Dean says that since the book is open now, Sam's trying to read it, because some of the symbols looked like they might be Enochian. Well, if anyone can read it, it will be Sam, right?

Time jump. Michael flips through a book and casually asks if Sam is having any luck. Coincidentally, Sam comes in and announces he was able to "piece it together." It being the spell that will kill God. Wait, what? It was that easy? The book only Death can read was easily translated by human (extraordinary human, but still human) Sam Winchester, and it provides a spell? {sigh} Okay.

The spell has to be done at a specific spot, so next we see the Impala coming to a stop at a beautiful lakeside area. It's nice that they have such a lovely setting for their last stand. Allegedly, this spell will release an unstoppable force that will find and destroy Chuck. The Winchesters, Jack, and Michael gather around a set of three bowls containing what are presumably easy-to-find ingredients, as all spells tend to be these days (except for the occasional flower that can only be found in Purgatory). Sam drops a lit match into one bowl, and all three burst forth with flaming green beams of light.





Such lovely scenery out here.

The music turns ominous and Chuck appears. Did the spell not work? Chuck tosses the Winchesters and Jack aside (or the Winchesters including Jack? he is a Winchester, after all). He thanks Michael for "the heads-up about all this." Oh, Michael, you treacherous fink! (Although I have to think, given what Chuck said about everyone forgetting he's omniscient, that he would have known anyway?)

So, let's talk about this. I know there's some grumbling on Tumblr about it, but it actually works for me. Michael was still furious at Chuck. Even more so when Adam was destroyed. But when he saw that Lucifer had gained their father's favor, it's very believable that he would have second thoughts and decide to turn on the Winchesters. After all, he was always the "good son." That was his whole identity. Of course he's likely to slip back into that role.

Anyway, Michael is all about Team Chuck now. Not that it's going to do him any good.

It's always been my destiny to serve you.

Yeah. The thing is, it's kinda late in the game. And you did side with the Winchesters. I can't forgive that.


Chuck destroys Michael and turns to the Winchesters. "You know, eternal suffering sounds good on paper, but as a viewing experience it's just kind of, eh." {Sidebar: I don't know about that. It depends on who is acting it out.} "So, we're done," he continues. "I'm canceling your show." So meta!

"Well, one for the road," says Sam, and he punches Chuck right in the face. YES. THAT'S MY BOY. It does nothing except hurt his hand. Chuck declares it "cute" and then sends the boys to their knees, twisting their insides painfully. He starts to snap them out of existence but decides to have fun and "get my hands dirty" instead. He starts whaling on them, breaking bones and kicking heads, and keeps telling them to stay down. But they are Winchesters, so they keep getting up. Finally it looks like they're going to give up, but they pull themselves up one last time and stand, leaning on each other, laughing. "Why are you smiling?" Chuck demands. "Because you lose," says Sam, bloody and broken and defiant (and okay, they both are, but SAM).





Finally, we've done away with the social distancing!

Chuck turns around and sees Jack standing there watching the carnage. Jack's breathing a little heavy. Chuck walks carefully toward him, like you would a feral dog, and snaps his fingers. But nothing happens. Jack puts his hands on the sides of Chuck's face and blasts him with some kind of power. Chuck is clearly hurt, but still alive. Jack snaps his fingers and the Winchesters are healed. They approach Chuck and Dean tells him "we won." Sam picks up the book and drops it on the ground, showing Chuck that the pages appear blank, since only Death can read it. Oh, wait. The spell was a ruse! They knew Michael had turned on them after realizing that Chuck had favored Lucifer, and made up the story about the spell, knowing he would feed it to Chuck! Oh, you clever, clever boys.

And more importantly, Billie's spell to turn Jack into a cosmic bomb made him a "power vacuum," and he's been sucking up power everywhere he goes. We see a flashback of the guys in the restaurant watching the plants wither and die as Jack walks by them. {Sidebar: If Jack is sucking the power out of plants without even trying, why doesn't he suck it out of people? Discuss.} Michael and Lucifer's fight in the bunker released their power, and Chuck killing Michael and attacking the Winchesters released even more power. And Jack absorbed it all. Well, I guess it's a good thing Chuck decided to beat the crap out of the Winchesters slowly, instead of killing them in an instant.

"This is why you're my favorites," says Chuck. "For the first time, I have no idea what happens next." Embrace the spoiler-free life, Chuck. You'll enjoy it. (But stay off Tumblr. It is the debbil.) He asks if they're going to kill him. "After everything that I've done to you, to die at the hands of Sam Winchester. Of Dean Winchester, the ultimate killer. That's kind of glorious."

But the guys have no intention of killing him. "Sorry, Chuck," Dean says. "See, that's not who I am. That's not who we are." (But Dean, you were certainly the ultimate killer a couple of weeks ago, when you pointed a gun at Sam...) Jack confirms that Chuck's power can't return to him, and the guys tell him he gets the ending where he gets old and sick and forgotten and just dies. And they leave him there, in the middle of nowhere.






Well, he won't be entirely forgotten. There are those books about hot guys who kill monsters .

Back to Hastings. Why? To pick up Eileen's car? They pull up in front of Showalter's (this episode's director) garage.


One more. Heh heh.

Dean asks Jack if he can really "pull this off." Jack smiles and closes his eyes and boom, all the people are back. {Sidebar: All the people? What about the AU people?} Even the dog! I mean, it can't be the same dog, but it sure looks like the same dog. Sam is very aware of Jack's new status, asking what they should call him, and what happened to Amara ("she is with me"), while Dean assumes life is going to go on as it did before, with Jack living with them in the bunker. But Jack's all, yeah, not so much. He's gotta go be God now. I do love that Jack calls the bunker "home," even though he's not going back there. Except that he is, because he's in every drop of rain and speck of dust and whatever.

"It's hell of a time to bail," Dean says. "You got a lot of people counting on you. People with questions; they're gonna need answers." And I'm sorry, but that's stupid. People have always had questions for God. They've always needed answers, and they've always found them or not found them. Jack deciding not to watch TV in the bunker isn't going to change that. And Jack's not rising to the bait. He's not going to be hands-on. "Chuck put himself in the story. That was his mistake. But I learned from you, and my mother, and Castiel, that when people have to be their best, they can be. And that's what to believe in." And Dean says "Oh, wait, that reminds me, can you bring Cas back? And my parents?" No, actually, he doesn't. Why? We'll never know.

{Sidebar: Did Adam come back, since he was one of the people dusted in the snap? Discuss.}

Jack puts his hand on his heart and then gives his adorable awkward little wave. He turns and walks away, and then disappears.

{Sidebar: What if they’d asked him to get rid of the monsters? Or just stop them from killing people? Too much interference? Discuss.}

Bunker. The guys sit on a table in the library, drinking beer. Dean offers a toast:

To everyone that we lost along the way.

You know, with Chuck not writing our story any more, we get to write our own. Just you and me, going wherever the story takes us. Just us.

Finally free.


Then Dean Jensen puts an arm around Sam Jared and the music starts.




This here? This is not Sam and Dean. This is Jared and Jensen. Stolen from supernaturaldaily on Tumblr.

And you know, Running on Empty is a great song. An excellent driving song. But for God's sake, did no one listen to the lyrics? It's not a happy song. It's not a song about freedom and the road.

Anyway. The guys get up and we see two new names carved into the table - Castiel and Jack. Surely that means Cas is really permanently dead, right? And then it's the Impala and the boys on the road and a montage! Goddamn, you guys, there are some great moments here. And some crap, too. It's not as good as the Swan Song montage, of course, because 1) that was scenes from seasons 1-5, and b) that was only the Winchesters. And this one includes everyone (including Anael, LOL). And a nod to Walker, Texas Ranger! I wish they'd used Impala!Cam for some of the shots, but this is an absolutely lovely scene.



Can the last episode just be 42 minutes of this?

And it ends with the trunk POV shot from the end of the pilot and I'm not crying, you're crying.

Well! This feels like an ending, doesn't it? And I'd be okay with it. Nothing huge, nothing awful, nothing final. Just the guys out there on the road, living their lives. But it's not. Am I the only one really concerned about next week? Am I the only considering not watching it at all and pretending this was the last episode?

I'll see you all next week, my friends. I'm 99% sure of that, anyway. And, for one last time {sob}, please keep all spoilers out of the comments, including episode titles and casting information. We will get through this together. I love you all.
Tags: 15.19 inherit the earth, initial reaction, pretty, season 15, supernatural
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Posts from This Journal “initial reaction” Tag

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