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Supernatural - Good Intentions - Review

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Supernatural “Good Intentions” was written by Meredith Glynn and was directed by PJ Pesce. The episode does a little more fan service in cleaning up some loose threads from previous seasons, which leads me to wonder if the show isn’t preparing for this to be the last or at least next-to-last season. In this episode, we see the return of fan favorite Jim Beaver and say good bye to Donatello – the mutant-ninja Prophet…

The episode begins with Zachariah (Chad Rook) mind-gaming Jack (Alexander Calvert) into thinking that he’s home with Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki). It’s at least a happy dream until a fire apparently starts in the bunker and Dean and Sam are screaming for Jack to “open the door” and save them. It’s a nice echo of the Zachariah from this universe, who sent Dean and Sam into a dream reality in which they didn’t know each other – and were interesting twists of themselves in “It’s a Terrible Life.”

Michael (Christian Keyes) doesn’t think much of Jack – the half breed – but Zachariah assures him that Jack has enough power to open a rift large enough to march and army through. Michael is impatient for Zachariah to find a way to make Jack use his power. He decides on a different tactic…

Meanwhile, at the bunker, Donatello (Keith Szarabajka) is starting to melt down – and is keeping notes… and secret notes. Cas (Misha Collins) brings Donatello breakfast and immediately senses that something isn’t right. Donatello does confide that the demon tablet has a power he’s never sensed before, but happily assures Cas that he’s making progress.

In the kitchen, we get a little much needed humor as Dean chews through an entire plate of bacon – “If bacon’s what kills me, then I win!” Who can eat that much bacon and still stay thin! Only the magical Dean Winchester!!! Cas is concerned that they need to be out looking for Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) because they’ll need arch-angel grace for the spell. Dean is still focused on the plan after getting the hunter network alerted to look for Lucifer. It might take time, but they’ll open the gate, stealth in, and save Mary (Samantha Smith) and Jack.

Zachariah’s next dream for Jack includes Cas. They are at the edge of a lake and Cas tells Jack that he wanted to show Jack the natural world before humans – who can’t control themselves – destroy the world. Cas offers to teach him how to save the world by using his powers. He tries to turn Jack against Sam and Dean because they hadn’t accepted Jack and taught him to fear his powers. But that’s one step too far. Jack remembers what happened and then breaks the spell – I loved that Jack can think for himself – and that what breaks the dream is faith in Dean and Sam.

With the spell broken, Jack recognizes Michael, who is done being nice. He tosses both Jack and Zachariah around – and throws Jack in with Mary. I really liked the scenes between Mary and Jack – very well acted and some nice chemistry between the characters. I loved the grey scale on the apocalypse-world scenes. Jack recognizes Mary immediately.

Jack tells her that Sam and Dean sent him, and Mary is immediately worried that the brothers are there too – she’s relieved when Jack tells her that they aren’t. Mary isn’t stupid and quickly figures out who Jack is. She’s also not stopped by the logical issue of a full grown Jack being 6 months old.

Together, Mary and Jack realize what Michael is up to. Michael wants Jack to open the door for his army. Jack tells Mary that there’s nothing Michael can do to him to make him, but Mary quickly realizes that Michael’s plan isn’t to hurt Jack – it’s to let them get to know each other, and then Michael will come back and kill Mary – or at least hurt her very badly. Honestly, it doesn’t make any sense for him to kill her because Michael then loses his leverage.

Donatello has a breakthrough – or so it seems. I did love the shot of him running down the corridor shouting “Eureka!” He tells them all that he cracked the spell – and they don’t even need arch-angel grace! Sam tells them that they have most of the stuff on the list. The only thing they don’t have is the hearts of Gog (Michael Jonsson) and Magog (Andre Tricoteux). Donatello hedges his explanation of Gog and Magog – who Cas didn’t think were human – but Donatello assures them they were.

Donatello tells them that the tablet had very specific instructions on how to free Gog and Magog. He tells them that these men are very dangerous – so naturally, Cas volunteers and Dean volunteers to go with Cas to cut their hearts out. Sam will stay back and help Donatello gather the other ingredients of the spell.

Before Dean and Cas head out, they share a moment. Dean wants to make sure that Cas is ok. He knows Cas would rather be going after Lucifer – but it’s not that. Cas has bigger, more existential problems. He reminds Dean that he was dead. And who hasn’t been there!?! I did love Collins’ exasperated face at Dean… But Cas is concerned that his being brought back mean something. He feels he had to be brought back for a reason.

Dean – always self-obsessed – figures that Cas was brought back because they needed him. Cas is particularly concerned that he’s failed Jack. Cas has come to the decision that he was brought back to prepare… for war because that’s what Michael does. Dean tells Cas then that’s what they’ll do. I have to wonder though if Dean has given any consideration to the fact that he is still Michael’s vessel… Should he be more concerned?

Dean and Cas arrive in a field, and Cas says an incantation to bring forth Gog and Magog. This scene seemed so rich in color, I wondered if it had been saturated, but it may simply be a contrast to the grey scale of the other universe – or it was heightened to make the grey scale worse… Cas has angel blades – weapons touched by God to kill Gog and Magog. I do love Ackles spinning the blade, very much like a six shooter.

When they don’t appear immediately, Dean suggests that Cas might have gotten a word wrong – and Cas is very offended. When they do show up, Dean is way too amused by the fact that they are wearing loincloths. This is actually a very amusing scene – but it seems a bit jarring in the middle of this episode. Honestly, finding a balance between drama and humor has become an increasing problem with the show for me. At any rate, this scene, while amusing, did seem out of place for me.

Gog and Magog argue over who they will fight – and argue over who is prettier! And then the fight begins. Dean’s angel blade is shattered because Gog and Magog’s blades were forged by a God. Collins acquits himself pretty in the fight, but there’s at least one pass by Ackles that is miles away from his monster. And why speed up the footage? I hate that. It’s a cheap fake out. Also, once Dean kills the second monster and he’s lying on the ground, his “blade” looks utterly plastic! Cas discovers that they aren’t human but a primitive beast formed of rock and sand. Cas tells Dean it means that they don’t have hearts.

Mary urges Jack not to give in to Michael and open the door whatever Michael does to her. They both discover that they have severe headaches. Mary wonders if the warding on the building is so great that it’s affecting even a human. Her headache lets up when she’s close to the window – and Jack is able to access his powers there and melt the grating to let them escape. Michael sends Zachariah to bring back Jack and tells him to kill Mary in front of Jack – painfully.

Donatello silences Sam’s phone when he sees Dean is calling – no doubt to warn Sam – and then he knocks Sam out. He’s awake again by the time Dean and Cas arrive back. The bunker is trashed and Sam is holding an ice pack to his head. Dean is incredulous that the Muppet Professor attacked him. But Sam has something to show them. Donatello is completely off the rails. Cas tells Sam that Gog and Magog were a set up and Donatello clearly wants them dead.

Mary and Jack are discovered by Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver), and Mary tells him that they are both human. Bobby calls Mary, Mary Campbell. He remembers Sam and Dean as the “daytrippers” and clearly has fond memories of Mary – who he later tells her, saved him many times. Mary tells Bobby that Jack is a “friend of the family” and that’s good enough for Bobby. It’s always a pleasant surprise to have Beaver back on the show. He settles into the role pretty comfortably after so long away! Of course, it helps that the character isn’t supposed to be the Bobby we remember and love…

Back at the camp, Jack is appalled at what angels have done to the humans left. Mary tells Bobby that Michael is after them, but Bobby tells them that they are prepared. Jack clearly likes Bobby and his welcome.

Cas watches while Dean and Sam interrogate Donatello. Donatello tells them that he doesn’t want to fight what’s happening to him. He accuses them of wanting to take the power of the tablet from him. He also accuses them of simply using him for their own ends. When he offers to show them some magic, it looks like it’s just more of the same crazy until Dean starts writhing in pain and can’t breathe. Sam helps him out of the room and it stops, but Cas has seen enough and takes matters into his own hands.

We get an awesome scene with Jack amusing all the refugee children with some truly incredible shadow puppets. Bobby and Mary share a moment – and here’s the moment of fan service. Bobby tells Mary that the Mary he remembers was sad and full of regret. Mary immediately asks – let me guess, she made a bad demon deal? But it’s exactly the opposite! She didn’t make the deal, so she lost the love of her life and Sam and Dean were never born and therefore weren’t around to save that world! Mary is finally at peace. She might have brought her sons a lot of pain – but they did save the world, and Bobby tells her that he thinks she made the right choice.

Bobby tells her that she obviously did something right with her boys and he tells her that they tried to get him to come back with them. But he refused because he’s all apocalypse world has. Bobby notices Jack’s amazing puppets and asks Mary if he’s a witch or a psychic. Mary foolishly tells Bobby the truth that Jack is a Nephilim. Mary has clearly been lulled by their heart to heart and Bobby’s feelings for Mary Campbell. Bobby tells her that he wants Jack gone by morning – even if that means that she goes too. Bobby explains that at first, they thought the angels were on their side, but they all turned on them – and Jack will too.

At the bunker, they go through Donatello’s notes. Sam muses that maybe something in the tablet corrupted Donatello, but Cas insists that Prophets are just conduits, the tablet would just flow through him. Sam remembers that Donatello doesn’t have a soul, and Cas immediately realizes that a soul would act as a buffer to the darkness in the tablet. Dean wants to know how they fix him, but Cas doesn’t think they can. Sam once again begins to despair – you can’t come back from no soul. At least, Donatello can’t get his soul back because Amara ate it. Sam reminds us that Dean got Death to get Sam’s back.

Cas suggests that maybe they should just end Donatello’s suffering – after all, if Donatello is dead, another prophet will take his place. Sam gets very upset and insists no killing! They just need the spell. Cas says fine and leaves the room, telling them he’s just doing what he has to. He locks them out of the dungeon. He gets the spell ingredients and discovers Asmodeus’s interference but leaves Donatello a vegetable. And Cas does it by breaking his own promise not to enter another human being without their permission. Cas is determined that no one is going to hurt the people he loves again.

The next morning at the camp, Jack is bursting with happiness. He’s really enamored of the people and how brave they are. Calvert is terrific at conveying that almost child-like innocence. Mary is forced to tell Jack that they can’t stay – and Jack realizes that it’s because of him. Mary says she knows it’s not fair – and the two are interrupted by Zachariah’s attack.

Bobby blames the attack on Jack having used his power. Bobby tells Mary to help get the children to safety. Mary tells Jack to just find someplace and hide. Jack runs, but the cries coming from the camp bring him back. He arrives just in time to save Mary – and Bobby arrives just in time to see Jack dust Zachariah. Bobby is really impressed when Jack dusts the rest of the incoming angels! And as an aside, did anyone else think that they were shooting in the same location as the season five episode “The End?” Also a Zachariah special…

Bobby thanks Jack, and Mary tells Jack that what he did was amazing. He tells them that he had to come back because Sam and Dean wouldn’t run! I love that he’s imprinted on the brothers! Jack has also figured out that as long as Michael is out there, the war will never end, so he has to kill him!

Cas emerges from the dungeon and tells an appalled Dean and Sam that he knows what they have to do. Dean and Sam take Donatello for help – Sam says that technically he’s not dead. Dean wants to know what’s wrong with Cas – but he’s clearly troubled by what he’s done even though he’s convinced that Donatello was a danger to everyone. Cas tells them that he was working for Asmodeus, and that some people can’t be saved. Dean wants to know who gave Cas the right to make that decision – he’s seeming a bit more like the douche-y angels…

Cas insists that if he hadn’t acted, they’d still be sitting around doing nothing – and the war is coming. He tells them that he did what soldiers do – and we remember what soldier Cas was like back in the day… Cas tells them the four main ingredients that they need for the spell: the grace of an arch-angel, a fruit from the tree of life, the seal of Solomon and the blood of a most holy man. This is the only way they win and survive. Cas throws Dean’s words back at him – “Whatever it takes.” Sam still looks uncomfortable, but Dean looks like he’s mostly, already onboard.

I very much enjoyed the apocalyptic world action in this episode. Calvert continues to impress, and I liked Mary getting some real peace about her demon-deal. It’s always great to have Jim Beaver on. It was sad to see Szarabajka as Donatello go, but he definitely went out with a big performance! I’m not completely clear on exactly what is happening with Cas – he’s seeming a bit all over the map, but again, this single-minded protectionism for his “family” is certainly in line with the Dean and Sam code. It will be interesting to see if Sam is once again hopeful now that the plan seems to be on track. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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