Just when the Winchester think they’ve saved Jack, other hunters start disappearing into thin air. And they aren’t the only ones to say goodbye.
On Supernatural Season 15 Episode 18, the Winchesters rush to save Jack from the fallout of the trials. Sam and Dean get a call from an old friend that hunters have begun disappearing one by one. While Sam and Jack rush to protect their friends, Cas and Dean search for the culprit, and suffer a devastating blow.
Diffusing the Bomb
The previous episode left us on a cliffhanger: Chuck snapping his fingers, and Jack doubling over in pain. Instead of smiting Jack like he did last time, Chuck simply sped up the rate of Jack’s destruction. He was already a ticking celestial time bomb. When Supernatural Season 15 Episode 18 picks up, he’s just about ready to blow.
Billie arrives without invitation, waiting in the wings to watch how things pan out. She’s furious that the Winchesters still managed to screw up the plan, but does have a way to deal with Jack. With a simple touch, she sends him to the Empty, where he explodes safely…for the most part. I’d hoped that the explosion might take out the Empty entirely, but Billie assures the Winchester it will only be pissed off. It’s possible that both the Empty and Jack survived, but Billie will only revive him when the Winchesters hand over God’s book. Without much of a choice, they boys comply.
Billie reads the new ending of God’s book, which she finds “interesting.” She summons Jack back from the Empty, something that I wasn’t previously aware that she could do—but semantics. Billie plans on holding Jack hostage because he will be useful, but the Winchesters have other plans. Dean attacks Billie with her own scythe, nicking her in the arm. Wounded, Billie vanishes, leaving both Jack and God’s book behind. Unfortunately, the book is still closed, and the Winchesters don’t have the power to open it.
With Billie’s departure and Jack’s return, the Winchesters get a brief moment of quiet. It gives them time to catch their breath and deliver a recap of the plot. In passing statements, we confirm that Chuck is likely more powerful than ever. Sam and Dean have already tried praying to Adam and Michael for help, to no response. When Jack was brought back from the Empty, he returned without his powers. He won’t be much assistance going forward.
The calm also gives Dean a chance to apologize to Sam. Of course, Sam insists that he doesn’t need an apology from Dean. Dean had been manipulated by God himself, and was doing what he thought was best. Over the years, Dean’s talked Sam off plenty of similar ledges. Sam is confident that despite the odds, they’ll regroup and keep going however they can. Dean isn’t as confident, but he raises a toast “to somehow.”
I thought this was a beautiful moment that really encapsulates the Winchester spirit from over the years. No one knows the plan, no one knows the ending, but at the same time, no one’s ready to rest. For me, “to somehow” is right up there with Dean’s iconic, “What I do have is a GED and a give ‘em hell attitude, and I’ll figure it out.”
The one thing I wish had been included here is a moment between Dean and Jack. Last time Dean almost killed him, Jack was immediately killed by God. This time, Dean almost sacrifices Jack and then…the two of them simply don’t address each other for the rest of the episode. I would’ve liked some small scene, even just a few lines in the aftermath where—like Sam—Jack assures Dean that there’s no need to apologize because he understands.
This episode also saw the return of fan-favorite Charlie Bradbury. Or at least, the Apocalypse World version of Charlie Bradbury. After coming to this world, Charlie considered swearing off hunting. In this episode, we see that she’s settled down with another hunter, and both women are balancing the life. There is one happy scene of them discussing cleaning guns and scrambled eggs. And then Charlie’s girlfriend vanishes into thin air. We’ll call this “Bury Your Gays: Part One.”
Charlie calls the Winchesters for help because she feels she’s out of options. She’s outraged with herself for letting her guard down, and even more outraged with the Winchesters. Once again, their personal drama has cosmic consequences. She demands to know if the brothers consider everyone else to be collateral damage. Neither Sam nor Dean knows what to say to that.
But there isn’t time to linger. More calls are coming in about hunters going missing. Sam and Dean suspect that Billie is behind it, already moving on her plan to erase everyone they’ve saved. In a panic, Sam realizes that Eileen is one of those people. He sends a text to warn her, and the Winchesters jump in the Impala and drive like hell. But it’s already too late. By the time they arrive, Eileen’s phone is lying abandoned on the pavement.
I do wish we’d actually gotten to see Eileen here. All the same, Sam has a line that I think is really emblematic of this episode. As he’s cradling Eileen’s phone, Dean tries to comfort him. Sam shakes him off saying, “If I let myself go, then I’ll lose my mind. I can’t right now.” A heartbreaking moment, but fitting for the Winchesters, and for Supernatural Season 15 Episode 18, so aptly titled “Despair.”
Refuge at the Silo
Sam buckles down to get into action. He maintains that they need to find a safe place for everyone they’ve saved. That means all the people from the Apocalypse World, and anyone they’ve resurrected. He makes a few calls and gets in touch with Donna Hanscum, who is able to secure an abandoned silo in Minnesota. The plan is to gather everyone there and put up all the warding they can.
Along with Donna and Charlie, we also get a cameo from Bobby. He’s gathered all the survivors from the Apocalypse World, but reminds Sam that he’s the big man in charge. I absolutely loved this line, because it ties back to Sam’s role as the quasi-manager of the hunter network in Season 14. I always thought that was a great job for him, training and researching and delegating, like the next Bobby. And now Sam is in charge of the panic room where everyone has gathered, and it’s his magic that protects them and boosts the warding.
While preparing the warding, Jack sees a small plant in the corner, growing in from the outside. When he reaches out to touch it, the leaves shrivel up and die. Clearly, Jack isn’t as powerless as he thought he was. Whatever is happening to him, he doesn’t voice it to anyone else on screen.
But even with all of Sam’s efforts, with whatever powers Jack may have, it’s not enough. People begin disappearing into puffs of smoke. First Charlie, then Bobby, then even Donna has disappeared. It’s not just the people from the Apocalypse World, or people they’ve resurrected. Sam and Jack look on in horror as everyone is erased.
While and Sam and Jack are at work at the silo, Dean and Castiel head back to the bunker. Their plan is to head to Death’s Library, and burn her books until they can smoke Billie out. Armed with the scythe that she left behind, they march in ready to cause destruction. But their plan never gets that far.
Billie is waiting for them, calm on the surface and seething beneath. Dean threatens her and yells, but Billie assures him that she’s not the one erasing humans. She’s not doing anything, because since Dean cut her arm with the scythe earlier, she’s already beginning to rot away. She pulls her jacket pack, showing the oozing wound and informing them that it’s fatal. Her only dying wish is for Dean to die too.
With the all the power she has left, Billie attacks Dean. She clenches a fist and Dean clutches his chest in pain. Cas has to support him as the stumble through the bunker trying to hide. As she chases them, Billie berates Dean, telling him that he is the embodiment of human chaos, of disobedience and disorder, and everything she’s ever sought to destroy. Just before she can get to them, Castiel and Dean take cover in one of the bunker’s rooms and put up a blood sigil to hold her off.
Cornered and with no other way out, Dean apologizes to Castiel for getting them both killed. There’s no way they’ll be able to take on Death. There’s no one who could. But Castiel has one more trick up the sleeves of his trench coat.
I knew that it was coming, but that didn’t mean that I was prepared. After a season of carrying the secret around, Castiel’s deal with the Empty finally comes back into play. For a year, Castiel has wondered what the Empty meant by waiting to kill him when he was truly happy. What does true happiness look like in a world where you’re fighting with God and constantly watching people die? In Supernatural Season 15 Episode 18, Castiel realizes that happiness is love.
He launches into a speech, telling Dean everything he’s ever needed to hear. Nothing Billie said is true, nothing Chuck says is true, and nothing Dean tells himself is true. He’s not a killer, or a blunt instrument, or poison, or cursed. He’s the most selfless person on the planet, and he taught Castiel how to be selfless and loving too. This is the only world where Castiel rebelled, and that’s because this is the only world where Castiel fell in love with Dean Winchester.
Dean doesn’t have time to respond. Seconds after Castiel’s confession, the wall of the bunker breaks open, the slimy tendrils of the Empty reaching into the room. At the same time, the reinforced door slams open, and Billie comes charging in from the other direction. The Empty envelops both Castiel and Billie, and they’re gone a moment later. Dean collapses onto the floor, looks at the bloody handprint left on his shoulder, hides his face in his hands. And as the screen fades to black, we hear his gasps as he starts to cry.
Weeks later, I still have mixed feels about this. While I’m elated to have any form of Destiel confirmed canon, it’s insidious to have Castiel become “Bury Your Gays Part 2.” For a more detailed analysis of the confession, read my Destiel breakdown here.
What did you think of Supernatural Season 15 Episode 18? What was the most heartbreaking moment for you? How did you feel about “Despair” giving us the Destiel pair? Let us know in the comments, and share your thoughts with us on Twitter!
The Supernatural finale airs tonight at 8/7c on the CW, after a documentary tribute at 7/6c.