Review: SPN S11E21

Review: Supernatural - "All in the Family"

By: Matt Spaulding

This week's episode picks up right where last week's left off, with the Winchesters standing face to face with God, whom we now know is Chuck. However, despite Dean's amulet now glowing bright in His presence, the boys still doubt that it's really Chuck (as he actually prefers to be called.) However, he zaps them right back to the Men of Letters bunker where they are greeted with the spirit of Kevin Tran, who vouches for Chuck before being sent on to Heaven.

Sam and Dean, obviously, have a lot of questions for Chuck, but Dean is the most hurt, saying he can't understand why He just abandoned the world and let so many bad things happen. It's some great acting on Jensen Ackles' part. Seeing Dean cry is always a very emotional thing. Chuck explains that he had to leave the world, that being so hands-on in the early days wasn't helping any and that the only way things would get better is if He wasn't always around to get people out of their messes. They would have to grow and get better on their own. The only reason he is back now, he says, is to face Amara.

However, He doesn't seem very good at it. What He seems to be good at is sitting around eating, drinking beer and watching porn on Dean's computer. He doesn't seem too interested in doing whatever it takes to stop His sister. In fact, when asked to team with Lucifer, he says no.

Speaking of Lucifer, while the Winchesters are having their pow-wow with Chuck, Amara is torturing him/Castiel. She also repeatedly contacts Dean throughout the episode, wanting to meet with him. It is during one of her talks with Dean that she sends her deadly fog into a small town, where it kills everyone except a man named Donatello, who at that same moment gets called upon to be a Prophet.

Dean and Sam, of course, go to meet Donatello. While they do that, Metatron uncovers something in God's autobiography: his intent to sacrifice himself to Amara in return for her not destroying the universe.

This leads to another really emotional scene between Dean and Chuck where Dean tries to talk Him out of His plans. Ackles really brings it in this episode and it's always good to see him pull off something other than Dean's usual "tough guy" attitude.

The rest of the episode focuses on the Winchester's rescue of Lucifer/Castiel from the hands of Amara with the help of Donatello and Metatron. While Dean distracts Amara by finally agreeing to meet with her (where she offers Dean eternal life as a part of her. Or as her partner. I didn't quite understand. And, honestly, either way, I would have accepted. Amara's really good looking for the evil sister of God.), Sam, Donatello and Dean rescue Lucifer/Castiel, but only by the skin of their teeth. A couple major things happen near the end of the episode, but those are for you to discover for yourself.

Honestly, despite the fact that they're building towards this huge confrontation, and despite some excellent scenes and superb acting, this episode was actually kind of boring. The character of Donatello was mildly irritating. And, as much as I still enjoy the show, I find myself wondering where Supernatural goes from here. The Winchesters have always dealt with potential apocalyptic scenarios, but the show has become extremely bloated. I mean, they are now literally fighting alongside God. And, while the show was never exactly grounded, the introduction of Amara and God and the angels has really led to even more flights of fancy, to the point where I often find myself thinking they are breaking the rules of their universe as I understood them for most of the show's run, or at least creating newer and crazier rules.

Final Grade: B