This episode was mostly about getting the chess pieces in place for the final two episodes. That's not terribly uncommon for a 11x21 episode (and also not uncommon for a Leming-Buckner episode - it seems to be the myth-arc episodes they're handed the most often, now that I think about it.)
Because I was on the livestream, I missed a line here and there. So, you'll have to forgive my mistakes! (Though, you always do, so it should really go without saying.)
To the episode....
So, we pick up immediately following the previous episode. Sam and Dean are skeptical about whether Chuck is Chuck - and then Chuck zaps them to the bunker... and then if that wasn't enough proof - KEVIN!!! Oh man, I didn't realize how much I missed and loved Kevin until he was there.
He tells Sam and Dean to trust Chuck, and then Chuck takes his ghost out of the veil and "upgrades" him to soul-going-to-heaven status, it seems. Awww... why not "upgrade" him to LIFE. I love Kevin.... hopefully he and Bobby will hang out in heaven, even though they never met - oh, or he and Charlie and Ash! Just... man, I kinda want to watch the Supernatural Heaven show, you know?
Anywho... Sam is very nervous about talking to God - and I love the way Jared plays it, where he's trying to play it cool, but he's obviously freaking out in twelve directions at once, and babbling as a result. Speaking of loving how actors play things though - I LOVE the way Jensen chose to play Dean's reaction.
But first, I have to talk about how BOTH their reactions were so in keeping with their personalities and belief systems. Sam, the optimistic faithful person, is nervous and babbling... Dean, my favourite atheist in a confirmed-God universe, is ANGRY - but he's not just ANGRY, he's "angry sad" (as I wrote in my notes) - he's angry because he's devastated. There's moments of levity, of course - Dean saying that he's not trying to be disrespectful and doesn't want ot get "turned into a piller of salt" and Chuck saying "that wasn't me" - but Dean cuts the heart of the matter - how can God, as the God-who-turned-away, live with himself for abandoning his creation?
Man, I wish it was fresher in my mind, but I read a great book about the Holocaust (Rethinking the Holocaust) that had a whole chapter or more about theology in the walk of the Holocaust and how you can reconcile the existence of a (Jewish) God with the reality that He would allow such atrocity to happen to his people.... anyway, it touched on a lot of these themes, and my favourite one was the idea of The God Who Turned Away. Anyway, I digress...
Chuck explains that he tried the hands on approach, but it didn't work - and so he let his children make their own choices and such and hoped that it would get better. Dean argues that it didn't. Chuck argues that it did (I'm actually more inclined to side with Chuck on this one - it might be present-bias, but I do believe that as a society, despite a few setbacks here and there, humanity as a whole improves with time.)
Dean, though, has abandonment issues, and they're in full force here - he accuses of Chuck of thinking that things have gotten better, only because that justifies him leaving. Chuck pulls no punches and tells Dean that he KNOWS Dean's particular upbringing and he tells Dean not to confuse Chuck with his own father. Ouch.
Meanwhile, back in the bell jar... Amara and Lucifer are hanging out, the former torturing the latter. Lucifer refuses to call out to God for help though, and Amara is getting frustrated - more than that, she can feel that God is out there somewhere.
Back with Chuck - he tells the Winchesters that Amara is warded against him, so he needs them to help him find her. He tells them that he has faith in Sam and Dean's ability to do so, even if they don't have faith in him. They make the mistake of bringing up Lucifer, and Chuck doesn't react too well - obviously a lot of bad blood there :P
Chuck argues that he NEVER trusted Lucifer and he's pretty pissed off that Sam and Dean let him out of the cage (listen, Chuck, I don't think anyone is more pissed off than Sam - and it was technically Castiel's fault that he's out of the cage - so maybe you should be asking yourself why your kid ended up with such low self-esteem that he thought saying yes to Lucifer was a good idea!)
Speaking of Lucifer, Amara is sick of him talking and puts him to sleep. Then she puts a hand to his stomach and somehow that allows her to talk to Dean? Interesting. I guess because Cas is in there and Cas and Dean having a profound bond? I don't know - I'm sure the shippers will tell me.
Amara sends a message to Dean - a vision - and basically tries to turn Dean against God, and also shows him how much she's beat up his boyfriend (I don't think that's going to win him over to your side, Amara.)
Meanwhile, in Lewis, OK, the fog rolls into town and everyone is dying.
Sam and Dean chat in the Bunker about how God sleeps, takes long showers, and sings crappy old folk songs. I love the fact that Dean told him to "cool it" three times and that Sam's surprised at that. I also love how Sam goes a little fanboy and talks about how he has so many questions - why are planets round (gravity, Sam, you don't need God to answer that one - you need a scientist, and you should really already know the answer.) and what's with ears? Sam always thought they were weird. (You got me there, Sam. Human ears ARE weird and I don't know why they look that way either.)
Dean isn't really having the fanboying - and he continues his honesty-streak (yay!) and tells Sam about the vision from Amara.
Chuck wonders in wearing Dean's robe though, something that Dean's not too impressed by. He also asks if they have any bacon - which Sam (I think it was Sam's?) is excited to hear about, since it confirms that kosher things don't really matter. My laughable moment though is the fact that Sam and Dean think they can keep their conversations from God just by not talking when he's not in the room - uh, I mean, I know this is SPN'verse!God, but I'm pretty sure he is still omniscient and omnipresent.
Jump to Metatron! Who is nursing his sorrows in a bar. He sees a clip on the TV about the deadly fog - and the TV also shows security cam footage of the incident the other day (crap, I'm going to have to download the episode, because they might say how many days ago it was and I need that for the timeline... brb... and yes, I type these stream of consciousness...welcome to my mind.)
Metatron sees footage of Sam and Dean meeting Chuck. So he calls them. Sam and Dean are on their way to Lewis, OK, but they pick up the phone and talk to Metatron, who insists on seeing them in person.
In Lewis, OK, Sam and Dean meet up with a professor, named Donatello - not after the Ninja Turtle, but the Renaissance painter. He gives an account of what happened, and apparently when the fog rolled in, he was zapped with knowledge - prophet style. Which makes sense, I guess, because now that Kevin's soul isn't on earth, a new prophet needs to be awakened.
Sam and Dean are a little skeptical, because Donatello wasn't one of the prophets that Crowley rounded up in S8, but whatever - handwave that plot-hole away! I actually thought it would be cool - and Sam and Dean SORT OF float this idea - that Donatello was triggered by an AMARA event, maybe he's AMARA'S PROPHET!?! (But we soon find out that he's a regular ol' prophet, because Chuck knows him and so does Metatron.)
They decide to take the professor back to the bunker and they give him the "God is real" speech on the way - which doesn't go over that well, because he's an atheist - but then when they get into a certain radius, the Professor senses something and sort of just comes to terms with it enough.
Dean walks into the buner first to find Chuck on his computer - Chuck says he's never seen so much porn in one place. It sounds like he's watching a sports game though, so there's that.
Dean tells him about Donatello and tells him to "dial back the God stuff" because the prophet is a bit freaked out. (Uh, dial it down to what, Dean? Chuck is already dialed back pretty much completely).
Chuck, of course, knows him. Sam tells the prophet that Chuck prefers to be called Chuck (which is really never not funny) and the prophet apologizes for being an atheist. Chuck tells him that it's okay, Chuck believes in himself and he was the one that gave Donatello free-will in the first place.
Then Sam and Dean go off to meet Metatron - who tells them the God's REAL plan - h's not going to defeat Amara, he's going to sacrifice himself. Metatron hands them God's autobiography as proof and calls it a suicide note. Well, we all guessed as much given Metatron and God's reaction to it last week - but I figured it was a case of God HAS to sacrifice himself in order to DESTORY Amara, not God is going to sacrifice himself and Amara continues to live... doesn't seem like a fool-proof plan to me, since there would be nothing keeping Amara to her word (but we'll get to that.)
Dean decides to talk to God about it in a park (and I'd love to see that Rock-Paper-Scissors game, because why else is Sam not there?)... Dean, once again, sees it as God "bailing" - God tells Dean that he'd be caged, not dead. Chuck's certain that Dean and "others that are the chosen" will find a way to keept he world safe in his absense. After all, that was why he saved Dean all those years ago (Ah! S5 opening - right, it took me a moment to remember what event he was referring to.) He calls Dean the "Firewall between light and darkness" and I love that description.
Dean goes back to the Bunker and he and the Professor/Prophet basically sum-up the episode so far. Sam brings Metatron in, and we find out he'd been circling the building all night sending texts to Dean (so, I guess that means that not EVERYONE who has been in the Bunker can get BACK in on their own.) Metatron argues that he's an asset because he's translated the angel tablet, knows a bunch of spells, and suchlike... then he tries to be cool and take a sip of beer as he sits down, but Sam doesn't let him steal his beer.
They ask his motivations - and basically Metatron is loyal to God - he wants to wants to save him from being killed/caged - because he loves him.
So, the plan, Dean and Sam tell us, is to rescue Lucifer, and then convince Chuck to work with him to fight Amara, rather than give in to her. How do they find Amara? Well, why not use the prophet that's just fallen into their lap? He can sense where she is, apparently.
The plan, it seems, is underway, as Dean meets with Amara in the woods. The conversation is really creepy, because it's all about how there "can be no us" and they have to just walk away....and knowing that it's all against Dean's will skeeves me out. He's basically under a love potion, but he KNOWS it... ugh.
Meanwhile, Sam and old-man crew are busting Casifer out of his chains.
Amara tells Dean to consider her offer - saying that she knows the world hasn't been kind to him, and that he should give up on humanity and join with her. He says that he's drawn to her, because he sees her as the end to his struggle (ugh - so, basically, she's suicide?! She's basically like a walking love-potion dementor/depression.) She then touches his face and is like "where are your thoughts?" and she realizes that he's been in touch with God and he's actually actively betrayingn her RIGHT THAT MOMENT.
Metatron is frantically trying to find the right spell to unbind Lucifer. He finally succeeds, just as they know that Amara's return is immenient. Lucifer is too drained to zap them out of there, which was their exit plan (WHAT ABOUT THE CAR?! SAM! YOU SHOULD HAVE DRIVEN A STOLEN ONE IF THAT WAS YOUR PLAN!!)... so Sam grabs him and carries him out (and wow - I mean, you can have your own headcanons about what happened in the cage, but to me the fact that Sam voluntarily goes that close to Lucifer... I'm really impressed with Sam.)
Metatron stays behind, thinking he might be able to do something. The spell he tries though doesn't do much beyond make a pretty light and stall Amara for another 30 seconds. Amara then, basically, "nothings" Metatron - takes him right out of the universe, by the looks of it.
Sam is gunning it in the car (seemingly in the DoD lands) when Amara appears on the road in front of them. Sam breaks hard... and I'm sitting there wondering why he doesn't just run her over?! I mean, Sam, you're driving a fuckin' TANK of a car. I know she's God's sister so you wouldn't kill her, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to try!... Amara then prevents the car from moving at all, even though Sam tries to throw it into reverse. She says they aren't worth sparing and holds out her hands to call on her powers, I guess.... and then suddenly the Impala is in the Bunker.
Like I said, God - kind of omniscient - so he saved them. (Also, God better zap the Impala back out of the bunker - otherwise...uh... car disassembly time?!)
Lucifer and God see each other for the first time. God says "you've changed" and Lucifer says "so have you" and God says that he's actually the same as he's always been, as he heals Lucifer (and Castiel).
Then there's a weird tag on the end of the episode as they drop Donatello (the professor/prophet) back in Lewis, OK. Dean then tells Sam what Amara wants from him - that she wants him to LITERALLY be a part of her forever - so basically "adios"... and yeah, SUPER CREEPY.
But this means that not only do we have a "save the world" situation, we also, for the 3rd season in a row, have a "save Dean" situation. Sam's notoriously kind of bad at that, though he tries SO HARD... so, it'll be interesting to see how this one turns out.
Next week, I'm guessing we start working on end-game plans.
And, like I said at the beginning, next week's review probably won't be online until the wee hours of Thursday - due to my flight schedule as I return to the Vancouver.
Let me know what you thought in comments!!! :)