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Supernatural - Form and Void - Review

Supernatural, “Form and Void,” was written by Andrew Dabb and was directed by Phil Sgriccia. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) spend almost the entire episode apart, but as a nice change, seem to be sharing when they return home to the bunker at the end of the episode. The episode also moves the Darkness storyline along, and introduces another super-creepy kid (Gracyn Shinyei) after baby-Amara eats Jenna’s (Laci J Mailey) soul. Shades of Lillith?

Sam continues his quest for a cure to the darkness infection. I loved his traps! He catches the first rabid man (Trevor Roberts) by broadcasting the movie Night of the Hunter with his phone in a bucket. The man isn’t convinced that anything will save them and is much more interested in getting Sam’s chocolate pudding. Is that significant? We also learn that some people change fast while others take a lot longer. The effects people did a great job with those creepy black veins.

Sam is doing research – it’s what he does! – when he hears someone singing “O Death.” Following the sound of the beautiful voice, Sam meets Billie (Lisa Berry), a reaper. She is not pleased about Dean having killed her boss. Which makes me really, really sad because it would seem that Julian Richings really won’t be back as Death. She tells Sam that Death used to think it was funny for the brother to die and come back again. She warns him that the rest of the reapers are pissed and that the next time either one of them dies they are getting thrown in the “empty” and no one comes back from that. Whatever that is…

It’s Billie who gives Sam the biggest clue. She tells him that he’s dying and he’s unclean in the biblical sense. It’s this clue that leads Sam to try burning holy oil as a purification. While the darkness burning out of the veins was a cool special effect, the flaming gauze looking too much like a marshmallow for me to take it seriously. Sam tests the theory on 3 more rabids (Mercedes Gendron, Dana Stoutenburg, and Joel Montgrand) and it works!

Before Sam hits on the cure, however, he also tries the power of prayer. Sam’s prayer is something we’ve heard from both brothers before. Padalecki was very good in the scene, it’s just a shame he didn’t have any really new material to work with. He claims that what happened is all his fault – please, didn’t we just spend 2 episodes determining that the brothers were equally culpable? He also asks God – if he’s even still out there – to spare Dean, who deserves a life. What is a nice change is that Sam asks for hope. He asks for a sign to know there is hope.

Sam gets a vision of himself being tortured in Hell. I think everyone echoed his cry of “What does that mean!!!” Does it mean that Lucifer or Michael will be instrumental in providing hope? Defeating the darkness? What it would seem to mean is that Chuck/God is still around and we could see a guest spot from Rob Benedict! Fingers crossed.

Dean meanwhile drops Jenna at her Grandmother’s (Christine Willes). She remarks on how good he is with the baby, and he just says, “Chicks dig me.” Everything seems fine as he drives off. Grandma even has a baby room all set up! Dean calls Sam to see how things are in “Zombieland.” Sam clearly hasn’t told Dean why it’s imperative he find a cure. I loved Dean calling the Darkness a crazy fart. Ah boys!

Meanwhile, hearing noises in the baby’s room, Jenna and Grandma rush in to see toy blocks circling over the crib. The baby then clearly throws them with enough force to embed them in the wall: FEED ME. A Little Shop of Horrors reference? It’s deliciously creepy! They immediately discuss, “Who are you going to call” and Dean answers “Ghostbusters!” Perfect. Did I mention there was some really great dialogue in this episode?

By the time Dean gets back, Grandma has called her church and they’ve sent over the exorcist… who happens to be Crowley (Mark Sheppard). I loved his explanation for freelancing as an exorcist. If it’s a rogue demon, he can kill it, and if it’s one of his, he can protect it. And I adored Dean coming in and clearly knowing Crowley. When Jenna asks about it, Crowley replies, “Dean was a rather scrumptious young altar boy!” The look on Ackles’ face is priceless.

Jenna goes to try to soothe the baby, thinking she’s safe with Dean there, and we quickly find out that Amara is eating souls – she’s eaten Jenna’s because she’s hungry. I felt badly about that as Mailey was terrific. She’s also good with no soul, but I was hoping for the possibility of a Jodi Mills (Kim Rhodes) team up…. Jenna kills her Grandma, and then proceeds to smash her collection of ceramic angels.

There’s a nice Scooby-Doo reference when Dean tells Crowley he’s not Thelma – Crowley fancies himself more a Daphne… Dean sees the mark on the baby and realizes she may be the darkness. Crowley remarks that the child likes him, and adds “Not a surprise really, you’re very maternal.” He practically raised Sam after all.

I loved Dean slowly reaching for the doorknob and Crowley narrating, “Draaaa-ma!” There’s also a nice shot of Billie’s shadow hand reaching out to one of the dead people’s hands. And the Robert Mitchum scene in Night of the Hunter in which he's explaining the love/hate tattoos on his hands. Jenna and Dean fight, but Crowley grows bored and slams her against the ceiling, killing her. Now they know that the darkness is manifest in the child and eats souls. Dean determines that she must die. Crowley tells him that even if he could kill a baby, Dean won’t kill this one. Crowley offers to do it – after he gets what he wants from her. Dean manages to pin Crowley to the wall with an angel blade – really? Why not kill Crowley? I suppose we could argue that Crowley may still have expertise that they need. But it's also yet another hand reference in the episode.

Regardless, Amara is now gone. Dean certainly did look like he would kill her with Ruby’s knife as he strode down the hall. We next see her walking along the street and a van pulling over. Crowley gets out, opens the door to reveal four gagged and bound people. “Want some candy, little girl?” So. Very. Creepy!

Meanwhile, Cas (Misha Collins) is being tortured by his brother angels – Efram (Dylan Archambault) and Jonah (Albert Nicholas). They want to know the whereabouts of Metatron. They even break out the torture device. The angels don’t consider Cas a brother or a team player, pointing out that any time he’s had to choose between helping angels or helping the Winchesters, he’s picked the Winchesters.

It turns out the entire thing is a set up to allow Hannah (Lee Majdoub) to pretend to save him, so he’ll tell ‘her’ what they want to know. It’s clear that Hannah really didn’t want to hurt Cas, but they’re all freaked out about the alarms going off in Heaven. Cas tells her those alarm because the darkness is out. He tells her that it has been locked away since the dawn of creation. Once Ephram starts beating on Hannah, Cas finally really does lose it. Unfortunately, Hannah is killed in the ensuing fight.

The final scene sees the boys return to the bunker, which is still a mess from last season! Dean suggests they get a maid… with an appropriate costume… oh, Dean! We don’t know for sure that Sam came completely clean about what happened in Superior, but Dean clearly tells Sam about seeing Amara in the black fog. Dean suggests it might have been a vision. Sam immediately says, “A vision?” Perhaps thinking it is like his own recent vision? The two are interrupted by a noise from behind the pile of books. It’s Cas who asks for their help. I suspect that we’ll be taking a detour from the darkness/Amara storyline now to get Cas sorted out.

I thought this was a reasonably fun episode, with good effects – baby Amara morphing into slightly older Amara was also SUPER creepy! Lots of good one liners and some interesting things like that vision and Billie thrown into the mix. What did you think of the episode? Did you have a favorite line? Do you think Amara has a more sinister purpose than simply eating souls? Any more theories about her connection to Dean? Is Chuck out there?! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files, Defiance, Bitten, Killjoys, and a few others! I'm active on the Con scene when I have the time. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.
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