Four and a half Torches (Out of Five)
Warning: This review contains spoilers for the “Swan Song” episode of Supernatural.
I liked the episode, but I confess: I really wasn’t crazy about this season.
As an individual episode, it was fine. It had a nice opening, connecting things back to both Chuck (the prophet-author of the Supernatural novels/chronicles) and Dean’s Chevy Impala.
I liked the set-up where Sam says, “I let [Lucifer] out. I gotta put him back in.” And I liked that Dean finally seems to truly trust him again. (But hadn’t we’d already covered all this several times in previous episodes? Did we need to waste time in the all-important finale to go over it again?)
I thought Jared Padalecki had some nice acting moments, playing both Sam and Lucifer using him as a vessel, and the scene where he and/or Lucifer kill all his childhood enemies was absolutely chilling/fantastic.
(Watching Bobby and Castiel get killed, meanwhile, was not fun at all. I love both those characters, and that was really difficult to see, their deaths so casually done.)
The show also played fair in that they promised early on that Sam would voluntarily choose to become Lucifer’s vessel — and sure enough, he did. (But didn’t they prophecize the same thing about Dean voluntarily becoming Michael’s vessel? It’s a pet peeve of mine where a show establishes that prophecies are “real” and unbreakable — but then simply has them not come true with no real explanation why.)
Finally, I liked the ambiguous ending, even if it was also sort of a cheat, both plot-wise and thematically. How nice: maybe God isn’t dead after all. That does contradict quite a bit of what we learned this year, but hey, maybe it’s time the show lightened up a bit on its patented darkness/cynicism. This might have been the last episode of the series, after all.
But all in all, it was a fairly underwhelming conclusion to a season that did, after all, promise the Apocalypse. And as I’ve worried in these last few episode reviews, this action here wasn’t really connected to all, or even most, of the episodes of the season. It’s like they set up this terrific, riveting storyline at the beginning of the season, then went away for twelve episodes, only to come back and say, “Oh, right, we have to finish the story now, don’t we?”
When Lucifer mentioned how he never lies, it reminded me how much I liked that character at the beginning of the season, how the so-called “Prince of Lies” never does lie: he tells people the absolute truth (and that’s how he charms them, but also why they hate him).
But this also reminded me how little we’ve seen of the character this season, how he was pretty much wasted.
In past years, when a season of Supernatural was over, I was up half the night, buzzing about how brilliant and chilling and perfectly realized the finale was.
I wish I felt that way this year, but instead, I guess I’ll just go to bed.
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