Jack and Nick have one thing in common—their pasts are catching up to them and the results are deadly. That said, what Jack intends to do with the little bit of life he has left, and what Nick is doing with his second lease on life? Very different indeed. Let’s get to it!
A Devil of a Time
We open with Nick having killed yet another person in the quest to find out who killed his family, the event that allowed him to let Lucifer into his meatsuit. This time it’s the priest that heard witness Artie’s confession but refuses to divulge it, and Nick literally crucifies him. Nick is tortured—but not, it turns out, as he continues to kill for what he comes to realize is the thrill of it all. He almost kills a random girl for no reason, and does kill the beat cop who confesses to the murder despite the fact that he was possessed at the time (in a scene I found unnecessarily graphic.) Nick ends up praying to Lucifer to come back and relieve him of the remnants of his conscience and somewhere in The Empty, Lucifer’s basic form emerges from the black and his eyes glow red once more.
Let me be clear as I say what I am about to say: Mark Pellegrino is doing a fine job (per usual) playing Nick as he did playing Lucifer, and the story of what happens to the vessel of Lucifer after the arch-angel has departed might even be an interesting one. But instead of finding the storyline worthy on its own or maybe even a counterpoint to the nice things going on between Jack and Dean, I found the Nick storyline during this episode to be almost a distraction from what I tuned in to see and I also found it played as excessively brutal. (I didn’t need to see what Nick did to the cop with the hammer—I knew what was going to happen.) And while I loved Lucifer (especially the Season Five era) and I love Mark Pellegrino’s portrayal, the show is going to have to work harder to get me to ever invest in his return. In my opinion his death was, if anything, overdue, and to reverse it so quickly would irritate me. Hell, if we’re gonna get an archangel back? I’d prefer Gabriel. And now, to the plot line that made me a little swoony…
Someone to Watch Over Me
Cas can’t heal Jack, and it’s devastating to all three of his surrogate fathers. In fact, things are worse than ever. When Jack has a seizure they take him to the hospital, and Dean plays angry dad as he demands help from the nurse, while Sam quietly provides his birthdate and last name. A necessary little moment of levity was provided by Cas, who told the nurse that Jack’s dead father was “stabbed through the heart and exploded.” Hearing Sam tell Jack, “Hang in there buddy,” and Dean tell him, “Jack, we’re right here!” tugged at my heartstrings. Jack’s lucky. He’s got good Papas.
Unfortunately, all Jack’s test results come back negative. There’s nothing to tell them why his body is shutting down and going into systemic failure. Sam and Dean know the hospital can’t help, so they decide to get him out of there, and, once again, seeing them rally around Jack is touching—seeing Cas help him into the trench coat was an especially nice moment. They know he belongs at the Bunker. They know there is no place for him but home.
So we all knew Rowena would never help Lucifer’s kid, right? Sam, wisely, lures her to the HuntCave telling her Dean is sick, and when she finds out the truth she is righteously, Scottish-ly, mad. Sam pleads Jack’s case but Rowena thinks the world would be better off without him, based on his father.
“You might be right,” Jack says softly, “We’re all still figuring that out.” Jack tells Rowena that he is trying hard not to be like Lucifer, and commends her for saving them all from Apocalypse World. He thanks her and coughs, and when confronted with how very smol and adorable Jack is she succumbs, with a muttered “Bollocks”, as so many of us have done.
I must say, I like that Rowena tried to save Jack, even though she did not succeed, and I like that we saw the flash of her purple eyes (the Book of the Damned still has her supercharged, we see). She remains a vital ally for Team Free Will, and as long as Ruth Connell stays on my screen, no matter how sporadically, I will be a happy camper.
As Rowena spoke, and later in the episode as well, Dean’s vision went blurry and voices sounded like they were coming down a tunnel. Curiouser and curiouser. What is up with Dean that his consciousness is acting up like this?
Hit the Road, Jack
“Before my life is over, I wanna live it.” When Jack tells Dean this, it’s especially meaningful. Dean’s been there and understands that, and though Jack initially assumes Dean disagrees with his desire to get out there and try things, Dean actually gets it all too well. I love seeing these two now—how far Dean has come from being the distrustful, aggressive force he was against Jack to now wanting to help him make wishes come true. Jensen Ackles, in interviews, said the episode was Dean’s olive branch to Jack. And it was indeed a beautiful one.
So while Cas researches Enochian texts, Rowena tries the “greatest minds in witchcraft”, and Sam asks Ketch for help in the form of a shaman, Dean takes Jack to “take Baby for some exercise.” Sam and Cas are worried of course. But Dean answers whether it’s a good idea with a simple “Yeah,” and takes him off. And Jack’s little smile melts my heart.
Baby, You Can Drive My Car
“Dean, I don’t drive!” “Now you do.” OMG!!!! Dean let Jack drive Baby! Utterly adorable, that’s what that was. Dean’s saint-like patience with Jack was so sweet to watch, and when he flicked on the radio and “Let It Ride” by BTO played I was beyond stoked (I love a good music cue, man). “It’s like I’m you!” Jack said over his beaming grin. “No, it’s not,” Dean replied with an indulgent smile. He gets how special this is for Jack—how much this means. “This is the best day ever!” Jack says, and, nodding to the music, I have to agree.
Reeling in the Years
Instead of going to a bar to hook up, Jack requests that he and Dean go fishing. “You once told me you and your father did the exact same thing. It was your happiest memory of him,” Jack says. “I didn’t say that,” Dean demurs. “It was how you said it. I could tell.” So lovely. (Side note? Man, I wish John Winchester could come back somehow. I know he’s a polarizing character but I love the man. And his portrayer.)
Jack’s musings on small moments being the most important parts of life touched Dean (and us) so much. All in all? A beautiful scene.
Cas wants to head to meet the shaman Sergei alone, needing to do something. He and Sam talk about how Dean is taking this harder than they are. But the truth is? They’re all crushed. “Losing…um…a son, feels different,” Cas says, and as Sam exhales deeply and closes his eyes we know Sam agrees.
Cas’ trip to see Sergei (despite his misgivings over the bean bag seating) seems to be a success. Sergei has both archangel grace (from Gabriel, during his porn-star years) and a spell that should work together to stop Jack’s deterioration in its tracks. And in exchange? The Winchesters owe him. Someday. (That’s going to come back to bite them, I bet.)
Unfortunately, despite perfect recitation from Rowena and literal good graces, after an initial spark where Jack goes yellow eyes, it fails spectacularly. Sergei was experimenting and it didn’t work. Cas promises to find him, in a menacing voice, if Jack dies. Which it seems like is going to happen.
Dean says he shouldn’t have taken him out, but Cas says that Dean made him happy, and that’s more than anyone else could do. “What can we do?” Sam asks Rowena. “Watch over him, stay by his side as he dies,” she says sadly, and we see on the boys’ faces that this? Would be a staggering loss.
Of course our boys aren’t going to give Jack up without a fight. Maybe we’ll get some clue as to how he can be saved next week in episode eight, “Byzantium”. See you then.