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Supernatural - The Rising Son - Review

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Supernatural “The Rising Son” was written by Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner and was directed by Thomas J Wright. The episode introduces two new characters and brings back an old one. It was nice to see Keith Szarabajka return as Donatello – the mutant-ninja-turtle-prophet. Jeffrey Vincent Parise joins the cast as Asmodeus – a new yellow-eyed demon who is determined to take over where Crowley left off. Frankly, Parise’s over the top southern drawl was just annoying. It seems we have another overacting villain. Much more intriguing was Christian Keyes as Alternate Universe Michael.

As the episode opens, Dean (Jensen Ackles) is driving back to the bunker with Sam (Jared Padalecki) and their new “ward” Jack (Alexander Calvert). Dean is clearly, once again, in a bad place after the loss of Mary (Samantha Smith) and Cas (Misha Collins). He’s determined that they not “bend the rules” about what they do with “monsters.” Jack has to die before more people that they care about do. Sam insists that their “problem” might be the only way to save Mary, but Dean is convinced that she is dead.

However, Mary is very much alive in Alternate-Verse. I’m really liking the washed out color palate they’re using for it. Mary is almost as pessimistic as Dean – she’s sure that Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) is going to kill her. Lucifer explains that he’s going to trade her for Jack. Mary can’t believe that he would care about raising a child, and he tells her that she has no idea what he cares about – and that’s true. I’m really intrigued to see what Mary does learn about Lucifer as the season unfolds. Pellegrino is utterly delightful in this role and never disappoints. Smith can hold her own, and this is a match that could spark some truly memorable screen time! I also loved their first scene being interrupted by an incoming fireball! Angels can be such dicks!

Mary uses the distraction to take off on Lucifer. She finds a hunter (Eric Breker), who turns out to be worse than Lucifer – but Lucifer shows up and shoves his hand through the hunter’s heart, saving her.

About the only thing that I did like about Asmodeus was his white suit. It was a really nice shout out to Sam’s turn as Lucifer in “No Exit.” Of course, it’s also a nice nod to Colonel Sanders and his chicken. Asmodeus was apparently stupid enough to attract Lucifer’s anger – the source of the scar on his face – by freeing the Shedim.

Sam convinces Dean to stop at a motel – the Black Hat – for a few hours after Dean starts hallucinating sheep on the road. Black Hat has to be a nod to the term for hackers who break into secure networks to modify or steal data. Rather in the way Asmodeus “hacks” in to try to steal Jack for his own personal gain.

Jack thinks the room is wonderful and is really enjoying an episode of Scooby-Doo – hilarious considering the cross-over coming up. Dean almost softens over the cartoon, but banishes Jack to the couch with the Bible. Sam tries to take the couch, but Jack insists that it’s OK. He really couldn’t be easier to get along with. And it’s not long before it’s clear that Jack either has a lot in common with Dean or is just imitating him to try to get along – I loved him wolfing down his food just like Dean. It’s also hilarious watching Dean try to decide if it’s ok for Jack to drink!

Jack has read about Lucifer in the Bible and wants to know more. Dean tells him that Lucifer is Satan – and yes, that’s bad. Jack also asks about God, and comes to the conclusion that God is like his Grandfather. He’s family and that’s good. Sam tries to find out what else Jack can do besides move things with his mind. Sam asks if he wanted to be somewhere else, could he just do it.

Dean jumps in – can you teleport? If you wanted to be on the other side of that door, could you do it? And I adored this part of the episode. Jack just gets up and walks out the door – returning to knock to come back in almost immediately!! Hilarious! Sam points out that Jack may be a lot more human than they know. When Dean prompts Jack about Lucifer reaching out to him, Jack does have flashes of when Lucifer did.

Donatello shows up because he thinks that God may be there. Donatello tells them that he’s been getting along without his soul by asking himself what would Mr Rogers do in any kind of moral dilemma. Donatello was on the verge of retiring – who needs a prophet of God when God is gone? And then he felt a weird wave of power – that now radiates off of Jack. Dean suggests that’s an indication that Jack is less human than they thought. But Donatello goes on to say that he’s met Lucifer and Jack’s power is nothing like Lucifer’s – it’s not dark or toxic.

Sam decides that if Donatello was drawn to Jack, it means that the angels are still out there – and can be drawn to him – and who knows who else. So… they take Jack to a tattoo parlor for a little protection ink. I’m betting it was unanimous to love Sam’s comment that the devil’s trap tattoo is a kind of “family crest” and they’re brothers.

Sam insists that they can deal with Jack by training him right, while Dean is still hell bent that Jack is bound to go evil. When the tattoo hurts, Jack lets out a jolt of power, sending the tattoo artist (Mark Sweatman) flying. I loved Calvert here. He looks at Dean – and like a little kid – says “it hurt!” Dean (of course) tells him that sometimes things hurt and he just needs to man up and take it. Then Calvert switches gears, and Dean could be talking to Cas: “I understand. Pain is part of the complete human experience…” And of course, then the two tattoos are absorbed by Jack’s body.

Sam and Dean debate whether Jack is inherently evil. Donatello jumps in to point out that this is the classic nature vs nurture debate. Sam brings up Jack’s strong bond with Kelly and Cas as opposed to the blood he shares with Lucifer. It’s clear, however, that Dean blames Jack for Cas’s death – the bond that got Cas killed. Donatello doubts that they can teach Jack anything because he has a strong dose of God-juice.

Jack leaves while the three argue because they were all so angry. And it would seem that that was enough of a trigger to get Jack to teleport. Sam finds Jack. Jack wants to know why Dean hates him. Sam tells him that when Dean gets frustrated and afraid, he gets angry. Sam also fudges that Dean is frustrated because he feels like he needs to protect Jack. Dean meanwhile chats up the bartender (Aubrey Arnason) who turns out to be Asmodeus.

Sam has Jack stay with Donatello in his room, and Donatello pays a visit on Sam the next morning. Donatello asks if Sam knows how powerful Jack will get. Sam has found out that a Nephilim will be more powerful than the angel who sired him. Sam also tells “Donatello” that Jack seems to be really bonded to his mother, who was a good person – and not attached to Lucifer. Donatello seems fascinated that Jack could be molded… and of course, this isn’t Donatello but Asmodeus playing Black Hat again.

Sam insists that he and Dean need to be on the same page if they are going to keep Jack on the straight and narrow. Dean insists that they aren’t on the same page. Sam tells Dean he knows what’s going on – that Dean has essentially lost hope. But he points out that Jack is scared – and he’s scared of Dean. Dean looks a little sheepish at that. Is her starting to finally soften? The two are interrupted – and this is a nice little brotherly scene – by Donatello who wants to talk about Jack – and insists that he wasn’t there before. Naturally, when they check for Jack, he’s gone.

Luckily, Donatello is like a bloodhound and can feel where Jack’s gone. We get a pretty great scene of Dean fighting a demon when he goes for their equipment. Sam saves Dean and then Dean makes a sweet shot with his angel blade to take out the demon attacking Donatello. Dean cracks that housekeeping is not going to like the mess.

Jack thinks he’s talking to Donatello, who tells Jack that God wants him to train his gifts – to be ready. He tells Jack that they have to rescue the Shedim from Hell. Asmodeus gets Jack to focus his power – on the gate to hell in Jasper which happens to be the one holding the Shedim.

Lucifer taunts Mary for being human. And he’s less happy to see a group of angels. I love how they insist that he’s not Lucifer – and then he’s a bit shocked when they are going to smite him! He takes care of them with a single snap of his fingers. Michael shows up – and he does recognize his brother. The two fight, and Michael quickly gets the upper hand. However, when Lucifer asks if Michael is going to kill him, he surprises Lucifer – and me – by saying maybe he needs Lucifer…

Jack manages to open the gate to Hell, and the Shadim begin to crawl out – we only get their arms and creepy fingers – which would be a lot scarier if it hadn’t been a bright sunny day. When the others show up, we get an hilarious I’m Donatello, no I’m Donatello….. before Dean shoots Asmodeus, who then puts a choke hold on them. Jack, however, won’t let him hurt his friends. Another reason to give Dean pause?

Back at the bunker, Sam and Dean try to figure out who this new yellow-eyed demon is. Dean is hoping that this 4th Prince of Hell is the last – and Sam’s narrowed it down to Asmodeus. Sam points out that Jack saved them. Dean insists it was nothing more than a reflex. Next time, maybe he’ll kill them.

Dean hears a noise and goes to investigate. He finds Jack repeatedly stabbing himself. Dean takes the knife away and tells him not to be an idiot. Jack wants to know what he is. He confesses that he can’t control “whatever this is.” He thinks he will hurt someone. Dean tells him Sam thinks Jack can be saved – but he doesn’t believe it. Dean tells Jack that if he’s right and it comes to killing Jack, he’ll be the one to do it. Why do I have a feeling that Jack is going to have to die at some point – but by then, Dean will be fond of him – like a brother – and it will still be Dean who has to kill Jack.

This was an interesting episode. The nature/nuture, what/who is the monster, will he/won’t he type storylines have been done again and again on the show, and always seem to remain popular. I’m looking forward to more of Michael – but a whole lot less of Asmodeus. What did you think of the episode? Were you as impressed with Calvert’s performance as I was? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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