So, I want to make a joke that the even SADDER fact is that this is a BuckLeming episode - but I want to make it clear that I don't mean it's sadder than the pandemic and forced social isolation for a social species - I mean that it's sadder than an unknowable hiatus. The hiatus is sad, but at least we know that the show WILL come back and WILL finish properly. There's nothing that can be done for the glaring canon errors in this episode however... but I'm getting ahead of myself...
The THEN goes all the way back to the pizzaman in S6... interesting. I wasn't sure why they were bringing this up, but then realized it's so that they could surprise us with Rachel Miner! Yay! And we would understand her references. Weird how these writers want us to know where their references come from, but don't bother to look up the FACTS that they're basing their entire episode on.... okay, okay, I'm sorry... POSITIVITY.
Something is amiss in the bunker... in room 28 to be exact. Someone drove a car through a rift... and it's Sam and Dean from an AU, where they drive an modern Austin Mini? ... and then they disappear again? Also, they were playing one of my guilty pleasure songs from back in the day. :)
Ah, it's just a sign that Chuck's destroying worlds.
Billie shows up to tell us that Jack needs to do the next step of his training and find a MacGuffin called an Occultum? (Really, couldn't think of a better name? Isn't that a little on the nose? Or is that based on someone else's on-the-nose writing? Do I have whathsiname to blame for this? That chluthu guy I can never remember the name of?)
Billie is still mad about the stupidity from last episode. She is a stern planner.
Sam looks good in this plaid shirt!
Dean's wondering about Amara, and what happens with her if Chuck is killed. AH! That's why the world would end if Amara killed Chuck - it throws it out of balance. I was honestly wondering about that - like, if S11 was just a LIE by Chuck about what would happen to the world if he kicked it - but apparently it wasn't, but it was about balance, not his actual death. So, Dean is thinking that Jack needs to kill Amara too, in order for the world to be okay without Chuck. INTERESTING.
Okay, I really do like this next bit, where Sam is like "who is going to take over for Chuck? Jack?!" and Jack walks into the room blowing a bubblegum bubble and is like "I just learned how to do that!" and Dean says "Maybe not." - HAHAHA, Jack, or rather, Alex Calvert, is SO GOOD at playing that sort of naivete that makes Jack so endearing.
They're trying to track down the Occultum, and Cas has called Sergei for info and gotten it. Castiel's relationship with Sergei is very questionable. He's got a weird thing going on.
It turns out that Sister Jo/Anael is likely the one with the Occultum.
Jo/Anael isn't interested in being enemies with God though, but when Sam and Dean threaten her life, she tells them the story of how she gave the Occultum to Ruby back in the day. So, this was the first MAJOR canonfail - Anael only took up this job/vessel after the Fall, not before... according to when we first met her. Until the fall, she pushed a button in Heaven and counted souls, did she not? Now, she COULD Have been another Balthazar type, perhaps, and had faked her death BEFORE the Fall - but that certainly isn't what she told us, and also, you'd think that given the rarity of angels dying before S4, people would be like "oh man, it's too bad Anael kicked it!" and that memory would STICK OUT in Castiel's brain. I'm pretty sure that angels had little to do besides gossip pre-S4.
The Occultum is in hell, apparently.
Jack is eating chicken. He's trying to feel things the way he used to - before he lost his soul. He misses it. Jack wants Dean to forgive him. Cas tells him that one day Dean will explode, let it all out, and then breathe deeply and move on. He's been there.
But when Sam and Dean get back, there's something weird going on - AU!Sam and Dean are trapped between dimensions.
Dean figures that they're fine until he and Sam get back from hell. Cas weirdly dwells on the fact that Sam was sexually intimate with Ruby.
Sam and Dean go down to hell with that spell that they used before.
Cas, meanwhile, thinks there's something fishy going on. He wants to talk to Ruby in the Empty. He wants Jack to ALMOST kill him, so that he can go to the Empty, and then bring him back to life.
Jack is very iffy on this plan. And quite rightly so.
Also, is that not using Jack's powers? I'm not sure where their boundaries are.
Sam and Dean walk into a trap.... set by Jo/Anael.
Jo's taking off. She is done being their ally now.
Castiel is looking for Ruby in the Empty... I'm not sure he planned this out any better than Sam and Dean did. I'm pretty sure that this qualifies as "stupid" in Billie's books.
It's "Meg"! Who is actually the Empty... who let's Cas speak with Ruby, solely because the Empty is in on the plan to kill Chuck.
Ruby sets the story straight - Jo came to her to set an alliance. The Occultum is apparently a thing AND a place, in which you can hide to be safe.
OH, ALSO - Castiel calls Anael "The angel Jo" and IT WAS LITERALLY LIKE 2 SEASONS AGO - but SISTER JO is the ALIAS. It should be "The angel Anael" at most, he should have said "The angel going by the name Sister Jo" - but to say "The angel Jo" and Ruby being like "OH HER! The angel that I should have never met before, who is actually named Anael and is hiding from Heaven, but for some reason told a random demon - WHO I MIGHT ADD was also hiding her affiliations at that time - not only who she was but the alias that she was hiding under." SERIOUSLY! Ruby's whole speech at the end was about how not even Lilith new that Ruby was affiliated with Lucifer - and yet, Sister Jo is like "I know you're tight with Lucifer, but..." What the who now? The whole point was that Ruby was a triple-secret-agent was the only one who knew what she was up to! UGH! ALSO, if Anael knew Ruby as a blonde, that meant that they somehow met in S3? WHEN WHY? WHY WOULD Anael not only be out of Heaven but VESSELLED at that time?! Not even Castiel was vesselled and he was in a garrison SPECIFICALLY MADE TO WATCH EARTH. Anael was a paper-pusher in a back office! DO YOU NOT EVEN HAVE CHARACTER BIOGRAPHIES?! (It's even more frustrating, because Anael told us that she used to be the right-hand-man of Joshua - the GARDENER - so it would make way more sense for her to have just had the Occultum to begin with.... of course, you'd still have the problem of the Garden having previously been part of Heaven... and I know they wanted to bring Gen back in, I suppose, and have her act with Danneel for kicks?!? I get that this is just a wish-list item for the people who work on the show, so FINE... but honestly? Think of a better way to do it.)
Okay, back to positivity....
Ruby wants to come back to life in exchange for the information. Apparently, the Empty is full of angels and demons dreaming their regrets and she wants out.
The Empty is still mad at Castiel. The Empty is on Death's side only... and tortures Castiel until Jack brings him back. Apparently, the Empty's deal with Death is that the Empty helps, and in return Death puts the Empty back to sleep - because the Empty has been awake since Jack woke Castiel up in it in S13.
Dean's mad about Castiel's plan. Castiel is like "but it worked!" and Dean is like "Doesn't make you less of an idiot!" and no one says "SEE HOW IT FEELS DEAN?!" :P
Dean gets the idea that they can use the standard AU!Sam and AU!Dean as decoys for Sam and Dean in case Chuck checks in on them, just in case he gets back to their world before Sam and Dean manage to get the Occultum for Jack.
This AU!Sam and AU!Dean are rich. Apparently AU!John Winchester built a hunting empire? I'm guessing this John Winchester had an ENTIRELY different backstory.
The Occultum is in a church in the middle of nowhere. Jack thinks it's a trap. It probably is.
It IS protected by hell hounds.
They find the Occultum and it says that in order to be in the Occultum, the Occultum has to be in you. Jack's gotta swallow the Occultum?
Back at the Bunker, AU!Dean is kinda loving it - having his own place, and not worrying about the corporate business. "They've got it made" - queue the cut to hell hounds and horror.
Jack swallows the Occultum, because him and I think the same, apparently. Dean says "Spit it out!" Hahaha - I just love it when they actually have lines that would be suitable to someone Jack's actual age (with I think at this point is three nearly four.)
Ah, the Occultum is the Garden of Eden. (So, while this is a cool concept, this is also a canon mistake... which we'll get to)
He's greeted by a strange girl - who is she? Who knows. Maybe her name is Eden. She tells him where he is, and that humans can't come there, and then says that the Garden might change him or something, and then disappears.
Then there is a Snake asks him who he is really - who he's meant to be - and Jack remembers his whole life and starts crying.
Back at the church, Cas and Dean are arguing instead of, I don't know, HELPING SAM HOLD BACK THE HELL HOUNDS?!
The door finally gives, but luckily Jack floats back in at that point and flashes the hell hounds away with his return.
They return to the Bunker, and Dean sends AU!Sam and AU!Dean to Brazil. They actually want to stay in the Bunker, but Dean says it'd be way too weird. Then AU!Dean tells him that they not only FOUND the car, but drove it, and then realizes his GRAVE ERROR and rightfully flees to Rio.
Sam and Dean go to check on Jack. Castiel reports that Jack is different now, because no one has been to the garden and returned, and surely that would change someone. And okay, fine... BUT WHERE WERE SAM AND DEAN IN S5 WHEN THEY MET JOSHUA AND HE TOLD THEM THAT THEY WERE IN THE GARDEN?! UGH! Why do they not have a canon bible in that writing office, that's what I want to know. Like... have they never heard of Substantial Editing? Is that not a thing that exists for TV series, because it's something that is VERY MUCH NEEDED. I know it exists for book series.
Anyway... whatever! At this point, I just throw up my hands.
Jack's feeling a whole ton of remorse, because his soul is back. Yay! But awww..... poor Jackie-boy.
And we enter the unknown hiatus... but I like the way we're set up for it! Jack's back! He's depressed! But he's back!