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Supernatural - All in the Family - Review

Supernatural “All in the Family” was written by the team of Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner and was directed by the ever wonderful Thomas J Wright. This episode continues to take fan service to a whole new level, but in a completely satisfying way. This is going to be a brief review of necessity, but not because I didn’t pretty thoroughly enjoy this episode – and as you know, I don’t usually like what this writing team brings to the table.

The action picks up right where we left off. I’m not too proud to admit that I squealed when Kevin (Osric Chau) appeared. It was a satisfying end – finally – to see God (Rob Benedict) finally send Kevin on from the veil. And of course, in Supernatural, no one is every really dead – or beyond a resurrection of some kind. And it was all the proof that Dean (Jensen Ackles) needed to prove who Chuck/God was. I loved the look on Sam’s (Jared Padalecki) face when he sees Kevin.

Kevin tells them to trust Chuck and that he always trusted them – which obviously twigs Dean’s guilt over Kevin’s death. Ackles delivers one of his best performances in some time in this episode. Padalecki is also amazing as the babbling fanboy of God/Chuck. I also liked Chuck and Sam bonding over being the little brother. Dean, however, is pissed. He wants to know where God has been the last thousand years or so and why he did nothing to stop all the terrible things that have happened. I loved Chuck clarifying that he didn’t turn Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt.

Chuck isn’t angry about Dean’s frustration, and says that he was hands on for ages, until he saw that he needed to step away. He was enabling, not parenting. Did I mention that Benedict is simply divine as God? He nails this scene too, as he insists that from where he sat, things did get better, even as Dean weeps. Chuck goes right to the heart of the matter – Dean’s abandonment issues – and he tells Dean not to confuse him with John.

Amara (Emily Swallow) continues to torture Lucifer (Misha Collins) in the hope of attracting God’s attention and intervention. Lucifer, of course, can’t stop his smart mouth. It’s also clear that at heart, Lucifer does still venerate his father.

Chuck tells the brothers that he’s always had faith in them. Chuck doesn’t want to bring in Lucifer. He was His greatest disappointment. Chuck is worried Lucifer will be worse after having been in prison so long and may have even formed an alliance with Amara. Of course, shouldn’t God know? He is omnipotent, isn’t he?

Amara comes to Dean in a vision – apparently using Casifer – who she uses to taunt Dean. Continuing the season’s commitment to keeping the brothers honest, Dean tells Sam about the encounter.

Sam muses that Rowena (Ruth Connell) would come in handy to find Amara, but Dean suggests they won’t see her until after everything is over – so I suspect Connell may not appear again this season. I loved Dean and Sam discussing having Chuck as a roommate – does he sleep? He takes long showers! He sings crappy folksongs – and isn’t a very considerate roommate! Sam is fairly impressed that Dean told God to cool it! Dean is particularly tickled to learn that God likes bacon!

Chuck refuses to be baited and lets thousands die when Amara hits a town. Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) is watching from a bar and sees that Dean and Sam have been in touch with God – he gets them to meet him at the bar. Metatron confirms that God is going to meet with Amara – but he’s not going to defeat her, he’s going to let her do whatever she wants – and he proves it with the Autobiography – or as Metatron calls it, a suicide note.

Sam and Dean head to the town and meet the sole survivor – Donatello (Keith Szarabajka). I loved him proudly declaring that he’s named after “him” and Dean assuming the teenage mutant ninja turtle rather than the artist, whom the turtle is named after. And Sam looks SO embarrassed! This is also kind of a nice shout out (maybe) from the Supernatural writers to Stephen Amell (Arrow) who is in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie. It’s hilarious that Donatello’s transition to a prophet results in him getting a Harry Potter scar on his forehead. The brothers quickly realize that Donatello is the latest Prophet. Although, Dean wonders if the god-power fueling Donatello might be Amara’s and not Chuck’s.

Amara tells Dean in a vision that things are moving quickly and everything will change and that she needs to meet with him – alone.

Donatello is an atheist and scientist! He believes in molecules, not God! He can’t be a Prophet – or so he thinks! Dean and Sam fill him in. I’m loving Szarabajka! They bring him to Chuck – who is eating Chinese food and watching curling in his underwear. Dean asks him to “dial back” the God stuff. Donatello goes from atheist to believer until 10 minutes ago. Chuck is fine with his skepticism and welcomes him aboard.

Dean meets with Chuck alone in a park. Dean wants to know why Chuck is bailing. God throws back, “You think I’m a dick – why do you care?” Chuck says he’s not throwing in the towel. It’s strategy. He won’t die. He’ll be caged and everything he created will go on. Dean cautions that Amara has told him personally that she’s not going to honor a deal – she’s angry and will settle for nothing less than total annihilation. God is convinced that if his plan fails, humans will step up – all the chosen. And he tells Dean that that’s why he saved him all those years ago. He tells Dean that he’s “the firewall between light and darkness.” Dean says no – he can’t believe he’s up to this task. It’s God that has to take out Amara.

Metatron comes to the bunker. He tells them that he knows all the spells on the angel tablets and offers his help. Armstrong is terrific in this episode – proving once again that when he’s not directed to go too big, Metatron could have been a much more compelling character all along. Metatron has had a change of heart. He wants to do whatever he can to save God and His creation. Dean fills Metatron in on the plan. To rescue Lucifer, use him to teleport out, and convince Chuck to use him to defeat Amara. Donatello is getting a “ping” as to Amara’s whereabouts.

Dean is the distraction during the rescue – agreeing to meet with her. She missed him and the feelings he inspired. He tells her that there can be no “us” and they should just walk away. Amara urges Dean to give up his smallness, his humanity. Dean admits that he’s drawn to her. She tells him that she’s the end of his struggle, but something is stopping him from having it all. She senses that his thoughts are somewhere else. And that he’s betrayed her – he’s been in touch with her brother.

Sam, Donatello, and Metatron arrive at Amara’s hideout, and Lucifer is happy to see them in his own way. Lucifer is not a fan of Amara – he’s going to be happy to help them defeat her. Sam wants to know that Lucifer is going to be ok working with God, and Lucifer insists that this is bigger than family, he’ll table that beef. Metatron gets Lucifer loose, but Lucifer is grounded and can’t get them out. Donatello feels that she’s coming, and Sam grabs Lucifer. Metatron tells them that he’s not going. He’s got this.

I did love that they let Metatron go out as a hero and redeem himself. And just a quick aside to say that I’m happy they’ve fixed Swallow’s wardrobe problem She also gives a stronger performance in this episode.

Amara seems to have Sam, Donatello, and Lucifer at her mercy – and then God drops them, baby and all in the bunker. How is Baby getting out of there!?!?! I know, God will do it… I loved God showing up with the beer, saying that he does occasionally answer a prayer – and that it’s clear that he’s answered Donatello’s!

Lucifer and Chuck are reunited, and I loved the two performances here. It’s clear that Lucifer does love his father – or yearns to have his father’s love, but there may yet be too much between them. Chuck tells Lucifer that he’s the same as he always was – and He heals Lucifer completely.

The brothers send Donatello off – though tell him they may need him. Which – what? Don’t they need his help now?? Dean once again comes clean about his discussion with Amara – she want him to literally become a part of her. Neither of the brothers really know what to do with that information. It seems that the season is definitely leading towards more sacrifice. Will it be Chuck? Will it be Dean? Unlikely given the series renewal. Will it be Lucifer? And if it is Lucifer, what happens to Cas? And will we see Crowley (Mark Sheppard) again this season?

Were you happy to see Osric Chau again? And sad to lose him again? Were you satisfied with the fates of Kevin and Metatron? What did you think of the episode? I feel like this season has been the best plotted in some time, bringing us to the climax of the season nicely – what about you? 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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