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Quick Reaction: 14x17 Game Night

Okay folks, get ready to strap into this rollercoaster...

Listen, before I even do the cut, I'm going to be honest - by about twenty minutes into this episode, I was so pissed off that if I hadn't had this tradition of writing it up after and talking with you all about it, I probably would have bailed. I'm glad I stuck through, because the show (almost) turned it around for me in the last five minutes. BUT BUT... at about twenty minutes in, I chugged a glass of wine, because it was my only recourse - and in preparation for writing it up, I have made myself a tall vodka-ginger and sipped HEAVILY...

BUT there are rules, and I'm going to go over them now, for my own benefit - no matter how annoyed I get, I like liking things - so I'm still going to talk about all the stuff I did like - and I except you to do the same, got it? Now, I'm not expecting other people to have actually had the same reaction I did, because it's not like this episode was written badly, it just wasn't written to my specific tastes, and there's nothing wrong with that - I am not the only SPN fan (shock, I know.)

Okay, now that I'm reminded of the rules - let's get into it....

The Then tells us that Sister Jo/Anael will be back. Cool! Then it tells us that Lucifer/Nick will be back. Not cool!

We begin the Now with Donatello, who is listening to that rainbow song... no, rain drops... the rain drops song. Or he's humming it. Yes, that's it, he's humming Rain Drops and making cookies - and is he still a professor? Maybe I should have listened to my mother and gotten a PhD so that I too could make cookies in my fancy house, and have room for an electric mixer.

Then he is attacked. My notes say "Going to die?" "Nick?" and I am right about one of those things!

When we join the Winchesters, we start with Dean - who has set up Mouse Trap in the library! I love Mouse Trap! We had that game when I was a kid, and my sister broke it pretty much straight away, because that was the kind of kid my sister was - but we played it anyway and the mouse trap MOSTLY worked... anyway, nostalgia.

Jack and Mary chat in the kitchen. Jack is REALLY sick of everyone asking him how he feels, and telling him that they're there for him. He's having a difficult time putting on his "everything is fine" face - but honestly, I would be too. It feels like the last three episodes have been an epic "ask Jack if he's fine" arc, and it's not like they're going to get new anwers!

Sam's gone out to get pizza - Jack wants pineapple, which Dean is disgusted by. This is the second of many times in this episode, when I'm like "Jack's right here, folks." because I too like pineapple on pizza - especially if it also has hot peppers, though I'll also take it without the hot peppers.

Before they can get their game night underway, or before Sam can get home, Dean listens to a message he got from Donatello. Donatello calls him for help and then starts speaking in tongues - so that's concerning! 

Dean and Mary take off to investigate, and Dean leaves Jack to wait for Sam and inform him what's up - since apparently cell reception is SUPER spotty in Lebanon (and yet they have it in their magical underground bunker!)

Meanwhile, Cas is meeting up with Anael in a diner someplace. Cas has brought her earrings - "likely cursed" but safe for an angel. In return, he wants to know how to contact God. He believes Anael knows, because she used to work under Joshua, and Joshua was the only angel could talk with God.

Cas wants to talk to God, because God is the only one who can restore a soul - and Cas is worried about Jack. Anael rightly spots that he's going behind the Winchesters' backs to do this. But she says that she can't help him - because God spoke to Joshua, not the other way around. 

Cas goes to take back the earrings, and Anael must really like earrings, because she confesses that she heard a rumour that after The Fall, Joshua was able to get in contact with God. She can take him to someone who may know how he did it.

Sam has gotten back to the Bunker, but Dean has benched him, putting him on research to determine what Donatello was saying - Sam says that it sounds like ancient Hebrew.

In the car, Mary expresses concern about how stressed everyone is - he, Sam, Jack, etc. She apologizes for not being around to help more, and feels guilty about being so aloof. She says that she knows that she's cold and hard to know on the outside. Dean makes a joke that "that's where I get it from!" and uh, Dean, I think you're confused - you are in fact, the warmest and friendliest of all the Winchesters.

Mary makes sure to tell Dean that no matter how it appears - she is grateful for every day that she gets to spend with him and Sam. And this is the first time my notes say, "Mary gonna die?"

Back in the Bunker, Sam actually RECOGNIZES ancient Hebrew seemingly without translating it with a dictionary first - which, I'm sure some people will be like HOW CONVENIENT but personally, I have this headcanon that at this point Sam is a crazy dead-language polyglot, so I'm loving this. He not only recognizes what Donatello is saying, but he knows the exact bible verse that it's quoting - Peter 5:8 which talks about Lucifer being back and walking among us etc. 

Dean and Mary get to Donatellos, only to find that a phone has been left on broadcasting Donatello's pleas. Then Nick steps into the room - reminding us all that he totally escaped from police custody and killed a bunch of people. Dean cuffs him. Nick tells him that he poisoned Donatello, who will die in about a day and a half as a result, and he set up a livestream showing Donatello tied up in some unknown location. 

Despite me yelling "JUST SHOOT HIM! SACRIFICE DONATELLO FOR THE GREATER GOOD!" Dean doesn't listen to me... one could argue, that he is a better person than I am, I suppose... as Dean is against sacrificing people for the greater good. So, sadly (for me), Dean does not just shoot Nick in the head - but man, I really wish he would have.

Cas and Anael arrive at Orlando's Emporiu, which is run by Methuselah (who I had to look up, apparently he's the longest lived guy in the bible, but he IS supposed to be deaders, having lived 969 years.)

He was roommates with Joshua after The Fall. He calls Castiel "kiddo" even though he appears to be a young man... and I love him?

He tells them that the device Joshua used to contact God is somewhere in the vast Emporium of stuff, and it's up to them to find it.

Dean and Mary bring Nick back to the Bunker, which I wrote in my notes as "sure, bring him back tot he bunker" just to illustrate my level of enthusiasm for this plot point. Sam is SUPER MAD and slams Nick into a wall - but is pulled off. Sam knows how to counter the poison Donatello was given, but is not as confident in his ability to track down the source of the livestream before Donatello dies.

Dean won't let Sam be part of the interrogation, because Sam is too angry.

Mary stays back and tells Sam that what Nick did wasn't Sam's fault, because Sam is blaming himself for giving Nick the benefit of the doubt back when he did, and turning him over to the authorities instead of killing him. Mary tells Sam that Nick's choices are Nick's alone, and that Sam is a good man and that she's proud of him. (Here, my notes say "definitely going to die.")

Cas and Anael are looking for the thing. They get to talking about Anael's demotion back in the day - apparently, it's because she believed in Heaven, but then saw how much suffering was on earth, and started questioning why God allowed suffering. Joshua told her that God doesn't meddle, and she disagreed morally with that stance - so now that she's able, she meddles. Cas says that he thought she did it for the money. She suggests that he hasn't been paying close enough attention. Cas tells her that her life sounds lonely. Anael points out that every single being on earth is alone.

Dean is interrogating Nick with his fists. Meanwhile, I'm sitting there chugging wine, wondering why Nick even wanted to talk to them, because this doesn't make any sense, and I'm dissastified with Dean's interrogation methods. Seriously, the Winchesters have gotten really bad about how they handle blackmail/ransom situations. They pretty much always just give in to everything the person wants and then deal with the consequences later.

Nick starts in on this whole schtick about him and Dean being the same, because they've both felt the power of an archangel and crave it and blah blah blah...then finally Nick gets to what he wants, which is to see Jack.

Dean goes and informs the others of this, and of course Jack wants to help, and of course Sam is like "we don't have time not to give in!" and so they send Jack in. Nick baits Jack by telling him that Lucifer loved him etc, and that Jack broke his heart - blah blah blah... then Jack gets really close to him, and Nick headbutts his nose so hard it causes instant violent nosebleed. Jack fixes it. I write in my notes really big KILL HIM JACK! But Jack doesn't, ugh.

Having seemingly gotten what he wanted, Nick agrees to show them where Donatello is being held.

Back at the Emporium, Anael steps "in a rat" and decides that she is giving up and is leaving. She tells Cas that he should just let her leave, so that they don't have to talk about the real reason he needs to contact God - which is that he's afraid. Because the truth is that Jack's soul is gone, and Castiel just doesn't want to admit it. OUCH.

Sam and Dean are driving Nick to where they need to go. Nick says something. I don't know what it is, because my friend and I are talking over it, and I hate the character so much that I can't be bothered to rewind and listen. 

GOOD THING NOW THOUGH...

Just as Castiel acquiesces to Anael's demand to leave, he spots THE THING, and the THE THING, is ANOTHER AMULET like Dean's. Methuselah congratulates him and confirms that the amulet was something Joshua made. Cas holds it and tries to pray to God, telling God that he and the Winchesters need him.

Sam, Dean, and Nick, pull up to a building - there is a lot of snow on the ground! I am confused as to when they filmed the episode, because I can't remember the last time it snowed, but it seems a while ago... and also there's so much! They must have driven up a mountain? Oh wait, the end of February! When Seattle got all that snow - we got one day of it too! It was a Monday, I think? Oh man... okay, so that's when this episode was filmed then. 

Castiel and Anael exit the Emporium and there's snow there too! I swear we only had snow for a day, maybe a day and a half. Sam and Dean may have been up a mountain, but Cas and Anael are definitely in the city.

Anyway, my notes say "go home and tell the truth" and I can't remember if that's Anael encouraging Cas to do so, or Castiel saying that's what he intends to do. But, before Anael leaves, Castiel tells her that just because God's not with us, doesn't mean we're alone - and she snarks back that "why? because we have each other?" and Cas is like "yup!" And awww. It's a cheesier version of possibly my favourite line in Supernatural, which is said by Anna in On the Head of a Pin. Uriel says "There is no God" and Anna replies "Maybe, maybe not, but there's still me." And then she STABS HIM. So, this is a very non stabby version.

Mary and Jack are putting things away in the Bunker, and Jack sees the needle that Nick used on Donatello and tells her that it wasn't poison that had been in the needle, it had been angel grace! 

Dean walks into the building, having left Sam in the car to guard Nick (why is he still alive? I guess they want to confirm Donatello is there before they kill him. They probably said this.... I was drinking.) Here, my notes say "It's a trap!"

Mary calls Sam to tell him what Jack told her. Sam gets out of the car too take the call, because Nick is being super annoyingly loud, and Nick starts working on his cuffs. Sam pulls Nick out of the car at gun point, and demands to know why he used angel grace on Donatello... here, again, I start making demands to JUST SHOOT HIM, and my friend is like "AT LEAST DON'T STAND SO CLOSE!" but, you know, fair enough, Sam wants to know what Nick's plans were really, so I guess he needs to be alive for that, just in case there's something they should know about NOW? Though, a point in my favour is that the bad thing Nick planned had to be done BY him AFTER this... and this was the perfect time for Sam to just shoot him. But, I understand that Sam doesn't know that.

Nick tells Sam that he was calling Lucifer, because he wants to resurrect him. Aparently instead of killing a bunch of nuns in a church over the cage, he could instead inject angel grace into a prophet and communicate with Lucifer that way - Lucifer told him that what he needed was Jack's blood, and there was a summoning ritual to get him back from the Empty (I guess.) 

Then there's a huge fight. Dean is fighting demons in the building, and Sam is fighting Nick outside by the car. Eventually Nick finds a large rock and goes to town on Sam's head. Leaving him severely concussed.

Nick then runs off and steals a truck.

Sam's in a really bad way when Dean is able to get back to him.

Nick finds the cabin from The Evil Dead - or at least, one that looks similar. He starts summoning Lucifer.

Jack feels his blood being used for the summoning - I guess it's a conduit for using the Nephilim powers. Jack seeks permission from Mary to use his powers to help, she gives it - as Dean has already called her to tell her that Sam's basically dying and Nick has taken off.

The summoning of Lucifer is really cool, I think..... but you know the COOLEST PART?!!?! 

JACK THWARTS IT!

Jack comes in and is like NOPE! And shoves Lucifer back into the Empty, and then, FINALLY, kills Nick!!! And here my notes say "KILL HIM!" "YES!!!!!!!" and I can tell you that I was yelling outloud "TURN HIM TO DUST! BURN HIM ALIVE!"  Meanwhile, based on Mary's reaction, I realize that this is supposed to be a horrific thing to watch and not something to take Jack out for celebratory reward ice cream afterwards. But, perhaps, I am soulless.

Meanwhile, Sam really is dying. Dean is trying to keep him conscious by counting - but Sam is trying to say goodbye, because he knows he's not going to make it, but he can hardly talk, because he legit is dying of a massive brain injury. 

Mary is upset about what just happened, but sends Jack to Sam. Jack arrives just as Sam passes out completely, and is able to save him. Dean is REALLY RELIEVED.... seriously, i love Jensen's acting choices here, because it's so true to "I was really trying to keep it together there, but now that the danger has passed, I'm going to have a little tiny meltdown about what just happened, please excuse me" only, you know, he says that with his body and his face.

Jack reassures them that Nick has been stopped and that Mary is safe, and then he returned to Mary. He realizes that she's upset about what he did to Nick, that she doesn't think it was the right thing to do - she's not upset about killing him, but about the painful way that Jack killed him. I guess Mary really makes a huge distinction between all those angels that Jack dusted in the AU and the fact that Jack killed Nick in a more prolonged painful manner. Jack wants her to tell him it was okay, but Mary refuses to.

Jack doesn't want her to tell Sam and Dean, but Mary says that they can help him. Jack gets really upset, and starts to get sort of weird sensory-overload/angel-radio-induced pain like he always experiences when he picks up high volumes of angel voices.... he tells Mary to leave him alone, but for some reason (plot reasons) Mary decides that the best way to deal with someone who is cluching at their head, saying to leave them alone, and appears to be in pain, is to continue to call their name, tell them to listen to you, and then finally reach out to physically touch them, even though all their body language is saying to, you know, DO THE OPPOSITE OF THAT.

That is all to say, that Jack does SOMETHING to Mary, but we don't see what it is. My guess is that he accidentally kills her, because she had a little "loving mother," speech to everyone except for Cas in the episode... so, yeah. I'm a LITTLE pissed off that I really don't think Jack is at fault for this, I think it's a legitimate terrible accident... and Jack just can't catch a break. But, yeah... we'll see, I guess.

I REALLY don't want them to turn Jack into the big bad.... but I'm thinking they're going that route, now that Lucifer doesn't actually appear to be coming back. (I thought for sure that he would - I'm happy he's not, don't get me wrong, every moment of Lucifer-esque!Nick in this episode drove me to the drink... but yeah, I thought that if he DID come back, that might save us from a bad!Jack storyline.)

But I guess this is all speculation at this point! We'll just have to see how they close out the season in the next 3 episodes... and also what's planned for S15.

Anyway, like I said, the last five minutes of that episode - basically everything from the start of the fight to the end, was GREAT and the kind of stuff that I love! Epic killing of bad guys! Dean and Sam hurt/comfort! Good times! 

So, hopefully we all survived that write-up and I was able to keep most of my usual tone! 

Let me know you're own thoughts in comments!


 

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/576596.html.

Comments

mark_and_roger
Apr. 6th, 2019 12:29 pm (UTC)
So I’ve recently rewatched the series from the beginning and while I’ve loved both brothers, I’ve always had a slight Dean lean in how I watch it. But this time around I grew a much deeper appreciation of Sam, all he’s been through, how he’s reacted to things, and how Jared plays it all as well. I found your LJ after essentially googling to find out how people have discussed over the years to how Sam reacts to Lucifer and I’ve been mainlining your quick reactions and rewatches since then. I admit I wish the show would have been willing to go a bit darker in fully exploring what Lucifer did to him and how he’s dealt with that and Jared has been amazing in the way he’s responded to it even if it’s not explicitly in the writing. There are so many con vids that I haven’t gone through but I wonder if anyone has asked him about that.

In any case you’re one of the ones I’ve seen discussing all of the allusions to male rape which is something so rarely explored in mass media without it being played as a joke. I agree that Lucifer/Nick has run his course but even so I have enjoyed the material it’s given Jared to work with (minus the way the writers played it in s11 with Cas-Lucifer). I think Jared’s done a great job of reacting in a serious way to Lucifer’s rape/assault taunts and I’m curious as to your thoughts about this last episode in regards to that. Mainly that Nick not only referred to Jack as his son but also seemed fixated on Sam too. Sure he scoffed at Sam in regards to him being Lucifer’s perfect vessel which sounded like jealousy. But it seemed Nick had also absorbed some of Lucifer’s emotional reactions/connections too. The way he talked to Sam in the car while Dean left them alone but esp the way he was banging on the door, calling Sam “baby” and yelling at him to come out while Sam locked himself away in the car just really made me think of Lucifer’s more rapey vibe than anything else. And to me it felt like Sam was having trouble reacting to Nick as Nick and instead almost retreating to that fear he has of Lucifer. I know a fair amount of how he hid from Nick was due to his head injury but if I remember correctly Sam called out in a fairly panicked way for Dean towards the beginning of the fight (I might have the order of events wrong though) and he was already looking at Nick in a way that was more afraid than someone like Sam would normally be against another human. It was just interesting to me the way Jared played it all the way up to him hiding away in the car honking for Deans attention with Nick banging on the window.

Anyway I apologize for the long ramble. I’ve been enjoying your thoughts on the show and I was just curious as to your thoughts on Sam’s reactions to Nick esp towards the end there and Nick’s potential personality bleed from Lucifer. Obviously Nick wasn’t in the cage with Sam when Lucifer would’ve been torturing (and whatever else) Sam but I imagine Lucifer had plenty of thoughts and comments about Sam and what he did to him while he was possessing Nick these later seasons.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 6th, 2019 06:17 pm (UTC)
Hi! Welcome! I'm so glad that you found my LJ and have been enjoying the quick reactions and rewatches I've done over the years!

I also started the series with a Dean lean, and then have come to really appreciate Sam (as I'm sure you've noticed.)

Good catch on Sam's more panicked reaction in this fight! Now that you mention it, it goes a long way to explain why he lost the fight. Jared DID play Sam very panicked, and also uneasy even before the fight began - and whenever you panick, your training/expertise in things can go out the window a little bit. So, Sam definitely wouldn't be at top fighting-form if he was having a trauma-response to having Nick as his opponent.

Nick may not have been in the cage with Sam, but judging by the fact that when Sam hallucinated Lucifer in S7, he hallucinated him as looking like Nick, I've always interpreted that as Lucifer appearing to Sam in Nick's form in the cage whenever he was under torture (whatever that torture may have been). Which really goes to show just how amazing Sam was at the beginning of this season, when he was the one who tried to rehabilitate Nick and give him a chance at life.

It also certainly didn't help, as you point out, that Nick seemed to have access to knowledge that Lucifer had. Remembered things that Lucifer knew or did - even possibly things Lucifer knew or did when he wasn't in Nick's body, as you say... Nick calling Jack his son would have blurred that line further, calling Sam baby, even his loud singing of "Sammy boy" was very reminiscent of the type of stuff Hallucination!Lucifer did in S7, which means it was reminiscent of the way Lucifer spoke to Sam in the cage.

So, yes, long story short, I agree with you - I think Sam was panicking. I think he was fighting Nick out of a place of trauma, rather than as a rational highly-trained fighter... and I think, unfortunately, that made it easier for Nick to gain the upper hand. And definitely, once you're terrified AND have received a blow to the head, you aren't going to be at your best. I don't know if you've ever had a concussion, but the one time I did, I remember just being USELESS and completely spacey, and I know really bad concussions it can actually heighten emotional response to the point where people just start weeping - so if Sam wasn't completely panicked before, he may well have been uncontrollably so after the Nick got him with the rock to the head.

kailita
Apr. 7th, 2019 08:19 pm (UTC)
This is a great character-based interpretation of a plot-necessary choice that seemed a little contrived to me. I like it!